The EU would be an estimated €370 billion better off each year if the employment rate of women
equalled that of men.
This figure, which is equal to 2.8% of EU GDP, is the sum of income not earned and welfare
contributions not made plus the cost of welfare transfers. (It does not, however, take account of
the economic contribution of women not active in the labour market.) The finding comes from a
Eurofound study of the economic and social impact of the lower labour market participation of
women, which was presented to a meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Women’s
Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) on 11 October.
While the gender employment gap is narrowing, a difference of 10.5 percentage points remains.
The study argues that coordinated and synergistic policy action could boost markedly the
proportion of women in paid employment. It recommends that policies focus on moving women
into employment, creating incentives for employers to increase labour demand, and providing
childcare support as well as various forms of leave and flexible working arrangements.