Governing points toward a report by McKinsey & Company that says achieving full gender equality in the U.S. could add $4.3 trillion to U.S. GDP. In South Dakota, full gender equality would boost our economy 10%:
McKinsey finds every state has a long way to go toward gender equality, but South Dakota is in the middle of the national pack on McKinsey’s State Parity Score:
McKinsey explains six areas out of ten where the U.S. should focus its efforts to put women on equal par with men economically and socially:
Worldwide, enhancing women’s economic potential has gone hand in hand with achieving greater social gender equality. Based on the relationship between capturing economic opportunity and tackling societal barriers to women’s economic participation, MGI has taken a broad view of gender inequality in the United States using ten indicators of gender equality in work and society. US gender inequality is low or medium on four: labor-force participation rate, professional and technical jobs, higher education, and maternal mortality. Inequality is high or extremely high on six: leadership and managerial positions, unpaid care work, single mothers, teenage pregnancy, political representation, and violence against women. These six should be prioritized as “impact zones” for action. To give an idea of the considerable challenges that the United States faces, there are just 66 women for every 100 men in business leadership and managerial positions, women do almost double the unpaid care work that men do, and there is one incident of sexual violence for every two women in the United States [Kweilin Ellingrud et al., “The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in the United States,” McKinsey & Company, April 2016].
One of the routes to gender equality involves no government action at all. All we need is for us guys to watch less football:
The best-in-class scenario assumes that the hours that women work increase from 89 percent to 95 percent of those worked by men, adding, on average, 35 minutes per day, based on an average ten-hour workday. This increase in hours worked by women could be achieved by men allocating more of their leisure time to helping out around the house. Men, on average, spend one hour more each day on leisure activities than women do [Ellingrud et al., April 2016].
If we are to realize Rep. Paula Hawks’s ideal of equal pay for equal work, we need to give women time to do that equal work. We means us, fellas. Turn off the tube, and scrub those dishes!