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Women good for business

Published: 11 Mar 2016 10:00

Childcare, role models and women managers key to female employment.

International research has shown companies perform better financially when they have more women in senior management.

The study by the International Monetary Fund published this week also showed that investment in childcare and having strong female role models played an important part in encouraging women into the workforce.

Minister for Youth and Women's Employment Annabelle Ewing welcomed the findings, saying:

"What this report shows is that there is a strong connection between financial performance and gender diversity in senior positions – and how the impact of this increases when women make up a substantial part of the company workforce.

"As research indicates that our economy would be boosted by as much as £7.6 billion if there were as many female-led businesses as male, there is an obvious economic case for encouraging more women to start and grow their own enterprises. But this new report also suggests it would contribute to increasing the number of women working as a whole.

"Our Cabinet has led the way with a 50:50 gender balance, which is now being emulated across the public sector. Last year, for the first time ever, there were more women than men appointed to the boards of regulated public bodies.

"The importance that childcare plays in getting more women into work is also made clear in the IMF's findings, which is why the £500 million we've given councils since 2014 to expand free early learning and childcare needs to be seen as a valued investment in our workforce, as well as essential support for families.

"Earlier this week we saw voices across the globe unite on International Women's Day to champion equality throughout our society. Equal access to work and parity in esteem and pay are not just necessary for moral reasons – it makes good business sense to ensure that we can all realise our potential in the workplace.

"Scotland's record on female employment is among the best in the EU with a lower gender pay gap than the UK but there is still work to be done to ensure that we remain leaders in supporting women to excel in all walks of life."

Notes to editors

The IMF's Unlocking Female Employment Potential in Europe report is available at here.