Welcome to a ‘A Woman’s Place’, a research series from the abrdn Research Institute. Focusing on the often overlooked ‘S’ of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), the authors set out to find what drives differences in female participation in the workforce and highlight why D&I policy really matters for investors.

There is a clear ethical argument for greater equality in the workforce. But there’s a powerful efficiency argument too. Increasing diversity and inclusivity in the workforce can lift incomes and growth by making better use of human capital. In a world where populations are aging and labour productivity growth sluggish, a stronger diversity and inclusion (D&I) corporate and government policy agenda could provide a much needed shot in the arm for the global economy.

Of course D&I goes beyond gender equality. We had hoped to cover race, socioeconomic background and sexual orientation at both the macro and micro level. However, the research uncovered just how limited the data is regarding inequalities at a company and country level.

For an overview of the research’s highlights, you can download our executive summary. If you’re looking for a more technical run down of our findings then please download our full working paper.

European Thought Leadership of the Year

The 5 Key takeaways

We analysed data for 31 countries from 2002 to 2016 and our findings suggest five clear actions for policymakers and companies wanting to boost female participation. Each finding forms its own edition to the ‘A Woman’s Place’ Series and will be released incrementally throughout the year. Check back for future releases.

Meet the authors