Skip to main content
Cornell University mobile logo
Empty boardroom table.

Moody's costs global gender gap at $7 trillion

Globally, women and girls are paid on average lower than their male counterparts in the workforce. This is not a new finding, remedying the gap is one the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A recent Moody's report sought to quantify the potential economic benefit to the global economy lost to gender gaps.

If labor force participation during prime working ages were equal between the men and women, a 6.2% boost to global output could be expected. Among OECD countries alone this participation and associated productivity bonus amounts to $7 trillion.

Costing the gender pay gap for the world economy, Moody's suggests, should look not so much at undervaluation as underutilization of women's human capital in aggregate. Their report zeros in on global deficits of of female executive leadership, despite surging female education in much of the world. Even with these educational resources, professional and executive advancement are typically held back by social factors.

While women face these challenges in most economies, reducing or eliminating the pay gap in developing economies could be especially rewarding. These economies more frequently see gender-defined roles by industry and career advancement.

Changing attitudes to female talent globally is a complex and difficult problem facing many regional variations. Even so, gender gaps in pay reflect wastage in productivity by underemployment of talent that more equal career progress can address.

Read the full report.