International Finance Corporation published a report that outlines how investing in women’s employment has led to enhanced business performance and productivity for companies in diverse countries and sectors.

The report, ‘Investing in Women´s Employment: Good for Business, Good for Development’ presents specific examples of how initiatives tailored to women—such as training, childcare support, health services, and alternative work arrangements—can enhance business performance while improving working conditions for women and men.

For instance, at Nalt Enterprise, a Vietnamese garment factory, staff turnover fell by one third after the company established a kindergarten for workers’ children. Better jobs for women lead to higher income levels and greater decision-making influence. That has broader societal effects, increasing household spending on children’s nutrition, health and education.

Key findings

  • Investing in women’s employment is key to unlocking growth in emerging and developing economies.
  • Women workers constitute 40 percent of the world’s workforce, yet in many sectors, such as mining, construction and energy, women represent only a small minority of workers, and in almost all sectors women are less likely than men to be in management positions.
  • Women continue to face many barriers to full and productive participation in the labor market, including discrimination and culturally entrenched ideas about gender roles, and their contribution is not always equally valued.
  • It makes business sense to support better employment opportunities for women beyond minimum statutory compliance.
  • Inclusive recruitment and training policies have helped companies in diverse locations like Anglo American in Chile, Chindex healthcare provider in China, Finlays in Kenya, Mariya in Ukraine, and Odebrecht in Brazil to expand the pool of job candidates at all levels, from entry-level to the boardroom, and become an “employer of choice”.
  • Programs that improve work-life balance for parents or health outcomes for women can lead to potentially significant returns.

You can download the report below

PDF report