35 years and 231,000 million euros, the cost of gender inequality in Spain

It is the result of the first ClosinGap index in Spain, which measures the economic impact of the lack of full equality between men and women in our country

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If full gender equality existed in Spain, GDP would have been 18.5% higher in 2019 (230,847 million euros more) and now there would be no gap of 35.9% to close. If there were absolute equality between men and women, the gap in conciliation would not be 56%, or 35% in employment or 32% in education. But there is no full gender equality and that has, in addition to a social cost, an economic cost.

An opportunity cost, to be technically correct, and that’s what the first quantifies Ãndice ClosinGap that sees the light this Friday to “promote the knowledge on the inequality of opportunities between men and women from an economic perspective”. One of its starting points is that women, despite representing 51.4% of the Spanish population of working age, only contribute 41.5% of GDP and this occurs due to the impact of different gender gaps in the labor market and in the country’s economy.

Hence, those responsible have measured and quantified gender inequality within five large categories that they consider “critical and necessary to reinforce”: employment (35%), education (32.1%), work-life balance (56%), digitization (29%) and health and well-being (fifteen%).

The launch coincides with the two and a half years of creation of ClosinGap, a cluster of large companies that seeks to promote equal opportunities between women and men with the collaboration of the public and private sectors. Your president, Marieta Jiménez -European president of Merck Healthcare-, assures that the analysis data “is conclusive and highlights that we still have a long way ahead to go to achieve a fairer and more equitable society and take advantage of the full potential of our economy. ”

35 years gap

These data indicate, among other things, that in 2020, the ClosinGap index in Spain stood at 64.1%, understanding 100% as total parity, so it can be deduced that there is still 35.9% gap to close. “Furthermore, taking into account that the evolution of the index in the last five years, this gap will not be closed until 2055, so it will take 35 more years to achieve equality”.

In addition to quantifying the gap in five large variables, the report delves more deeply into the state of each of them. Thus, it recognizes that women are participating more and more in the labor market and for more years, but they work fewer hours and with a lower salary than men, which later translates into lower retirement pensions. Furthermore, it points out that women are overrepresented in less productive economic sectors and, on the contrary, they are less numerous in leadership and decision-making positions.

In educational subject, the study concludes that women have a higher university education than men, but it is they who dominate technical careers. “Although there are hardly any differences in the use of new technologies at the user level, the percentage of women specialized in ICT in the labor market is still very low,” they add.

They assume the most of the unpaid work -and care at home and in the family-, which has an impact on higher rates of inactivity and job partiality. In a matter of wellness, women live longer, but with poorer health and quality of life That men.

The companies that make up ClosinGap (Merck, Mapfre, Repsol, Vodafone, Meliá, Mahou San Miguel and Solán de Cabras, BMW Group, L’Oreal, PwC, Bankia, ONCE and Kreab) consider that the recovery that lies ahead after the pandemic it is “a great opportunity” to promote female talent in the labor market, otherwise, “we will not achieve full development and well-being in the economic or social sphere “.

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