Women represent an unharnessed economic opportunity. The commitment of the G7 countries to capacity building of women in equitable economic growth was prioritised at the 2016 Summit in Ise-Shima, where the Women’s Initiative in Developing STEM Careers was given strong political commitment by each of the G7 leaders.
This message was later reinforced by APEC Ministers and private sector leaders alike at the APEC Women and the Economy Forum in Peru later in the year. In APEC economies, addressing limits on women’s participation could add up to approximately $US 89 billion.
Women’s participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) globally is far from balanced. This problem is particularly pronounced in Asia, where only three out of 18 countries had an equal or above proportion of the STEM workforce that was female. This trend has continued despite the demand for STEM fields over the past few years having increased exponentially. In Asia-Pacific, there is a ‘talent shortage’ to the tune of 45 per cent – comprising predominantly of STEM-related occupations.
Many businesses have started to grasp the urgent need to support gender parity and put in practical solutions to unlock economic and social potential within their business and value chains. Encouraging women into STEM is not just a social issue – it is an economic one too.
What is the outlook for the greater inclusion of women in the global economy? How can policymakers and corporate leaders help to unlock the economic potential of women? What are the ambitions of the next generation of female leaders? What are the barriers and challenges that prevent or slow any actions and opinions on current policies regarding gender equality?
Asia House in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in London is holding a half-day conference exploring the topic. Speakers to be announced soon.
Attendance is by invitation only. For more information or to register your interest in attending, please contact David Shui-Jezierski on the Business & Policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 307 5458.