Opinion: How Cross-Sector Collaborations Can Accelerate Progress Toward Gender Equality

It is increasingly acknowledged that the global gender gap is severe, with major negative economic and social consequences, and that accelerating progress toward gender parity has enormous benefits. Yet progress has been slow. One answer is collaborations — partnerships for parity — but they have to be put together carefully if they are to be effective.

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP growth each year to 2025 if all countries were to match the progress toward gender parity of the country in their region with the most rapid improvement. This is equivalent to the current GDPs of Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined.

Making progress in bridging pervasive gender gaps and achieving this potential for inclusive growth will require changing our current approach. Take progress toward equality for women in the workplace: on the current trajectory, the World Economic Forum reckons it will take 81 years to close the gap completely. Similarly, MGI notes that the average maternal mortality rate fell from 276 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1995 to 135 in 2013; at this rate of decline, the rate will still be as high as 84 deaths in 2025.