What is the cost of B.C.’s gender disparity?

Advancing gender equality could add $20 billion to provincial GDP: report

Tackling gender equality could add $20 billion to provincial GDP by 2026

Advancing gender equality could add $20 billion to British Columbia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2026, according to a new report by McKinsey Global Institute. The research, which looked at the economic impact of advancing women’s equality across Canada, found that this $20 billion impact would result from three areas:

  • Raise women’s sector-weighted productivity from $118,000 to $125,000 by adding more women to high-productivity sectors such as technology (38 per cent of impact)
  • Lift women’s labour force participation rate from 60 per cent to 64 per cent (39 per cent of impact)
  • Increase women’s working hours by an average of 30 minutes per week (23 per cent of impact)

The report also found that B.C. has extremely high gender inequality in occupations related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), STEM education, entrepreneurship, single parenthood, and political representation. The province also has high gender inequality in managerial positions, unpaid care work and political representation. Historical data on indicators shows that progress in B.C. on advancing general equality in hours worked, managerial positions, and STEM education have largely stalled over the past 20 years. At current rates, closing these three gaps could take 100 years or more.