Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class; The Great Reset) is one of the authors I just regularly “check in with/catch up on.” In a recent article, What Makes Women Rich, he makes a simple point very clearly and persuasively: them more opportunity for women, the more progress a nation can make. The article is worth a careful read. Here are excerpts:
Women make up the majority of the U.S. workforce and an even larger majority of knowledge, professional, and creative workers. In a provocative and controversial essay in this magazine, Hannah Rosin argues that the post-industrial economy is better suited to the types of skills and capabilities women possess. The current economic crisis has been dubbed a “mancession” by some – as men in blue-collar jobs have borne the brunt of layoffs and unemployment.
It stands to reason that economies that afford women more opportunity will gain economic advantage for the simple reason that they can tap a broader reservoir of talent and skill.
Economic opportunity for women is closely associated with the transition to knowledge-driven economic structures with higher levels of human capital and more creative class occupations. Women’s economic opportunity is also greater in nations which are more open and tolerant generally toward gays and lesbians and racial and ethnic minorities. Overall, we find an especially close association between the economic opportunity afforded women and our Global Creativity Index, a composite measure of national creativity and competitiveness. Nations where women have greater economic opportunity also have higher levels of overall life satisfaction and happiness.
Not only do women have greater opportunity in wealthier, more open, post-industrial nations, women are an integral component of the economic development equation. Nations that are more open to women and afford them more opportunity gain economic advantage by harnessing a greater level of human skill and potential. Now, more than ever, the path to economic prosperity requires further human development. Creating economic and social structures which develop women’s full talents and afford them the full range of economic opportunity is a key element in securing lasting economic prosperity.