When women suffer from sexism, so does the entire economy. That’s the crux of a new paper by economists David Cuberes of Clark University and Marc Teignier of Universitat de Barcelona), which quantifies the economic loss caused by the limited involvement of women in professional fields, especially among entrepreneurs and CEOs.
Across Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, according to the data reported in the study, a third or fewer entrepreneurs are women, and the percentage of female CEOs is a scrawny 3 percent. In addition to the moral grounds for boosting women’s access to higher-level professional positions, there are also economic motivations for doing so, as The Economist points out.
The presence of women entrepreneurs raises the “average talent of entrepreneurs” by increasing the pool of contenders. Entrepreneurs in greater numbers increase competition, which boosts success in the economy and income per capita. Using the latest available data up to 2010, the authors looked at the existing gap between female and male participation in the workforce, and entrepreneurship levels and chief executive positions among women. They then quantified the short-term and long-term effects on a country’s per capita income by projecting what it would be for that year if women’s involvement in the workforce (both their participation overall and the jobs they occupied) were equal to men’s.