Closing the Gender Gap: A Business Imperative

Harnessing female talent is especially important in growing economies, where potential is high but access to ambitious careers may be lacking. Women are underused in the workforces of emerging economies. This is due to both “push” factors (lack of career advancement or support on the job) and pull” factors (pressure to care for children or elders, among others). Although the glass ceiling is cracking in some regions, there is still great work to be done. And employers have a critical role to play in creating gender parity.

Current rates of hiring, promoting and retaining women are not sufficient to create gender equality over the next decade. The problem is especially pronounced in Asia, which is projected to have the lowest representation of women in 2025. Latin America, on the opposite side of the spectrum, is the only region in the world on track to close the gender gap at the professional level and above by 2025.

To break through the inertia and accelerate progress, organizations need to effect behavioral change on the individual level — beginning with leaders and progressing peer to peer to create real momentum for change. We invite organizations around the world, in all industries and from all sectors, to join the growing community of organizations that have embarked on this journey toward a thriving female workforce.

Only by engaging the full talents of both women and men can we expect to keep our organizations and societies thriving in the emerging markets as the markets mature.

Pat Milligan
by Pat Milligan

Global Leader, Multinational Client Group & When Women Thrive Pat Milligan is the Global Leader for the Multinational Client Group and Mercer's When Women Thrive research initiative. Pat has been with Mercer for over 10 years, most recently as President - North America Region, which includes Canada and the US. Prior to that, she was the President of Mercer’s Talent business segment and led the human capital, information solutions, and workforce communication and change businesses. From 2005 through 2008, Pat was the Chief Markets Officer where she successfully led a number of Mercer’s key initiatives, including the implementation of the global client relationship management system, the sales effectiveness program and the repositioning of Mercer’s brand. She is also the chief architect and a passionate advocate of Mercer’s Women@Mercer business resource group and Mercer’s World Economic Forum (WEF) efforts.

Global Leader, Multinational Client Group & When Women Thrive

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