Unlocking Female Employment Potential in Europe: Drivers and Benefits

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Series Details 16/02, Number 2
Publication Date March 2016
ISBN 978-1-51356-251-3
Content Type


With an aging population and declining productivity growth, Europe faces serious challenges to raising its output growth. Adding to these challenges are the various gender gaps in the labour market. Despite significant progress in recent decades, there are still fewer women than men participating in Europe’s labour market, and women are more likely to work part time. Furthermore, a smaller share of women reaches the top rungs of the corporate ladder. Could greater gender equality in the labour market help mitigate the slowdown in Europe’s growth potential?

Against this backdrop, this paper investigates the drivers of female labour force participation in Europe as well as what effects greater gender diversity in senior corporate positions might have for Europe’s economic performance. Re-examining the factors driving women’s labour force participation is particularly important because in many European countries the process of closing the gender gap has stalled despite greater gender equality in human capital investment, declining birth rates, changing social norms, and equal legal access to employment opportunities. Investigating whether firm performance could be improved if women held a greater share of senior positions is also essential given that the empirical evidence from past research into this question has been inconclusive.

Source Link https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/Departmental-Papers-Policy-Papers/Issues/2016/12/31/Unlocking-Female-Employment-Potential-in-Europe-Drivers-and-Benefits-43712
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  • https://www.imf.org/-/media/Websites/IMF/imported-full-text-pdf/external/pubs/ft/dp/2016/_eur1601.ashx
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