GESI: an inclusion-led recovery
Women have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In response, Katalis is putting gender and social inclusion at the centre of everything we do.
Around the world, a common impediment to growth is the failure to achieve equal participation, equal senior representation and equal pay for women in the workplace. In Indonesia, only 54 per cent of women are in the formal workforce compared with 84 per cent of men, a figure that has remained largely unchanged for almost two decades . When they manage to work, Indonesian women earn 23 per cent less than men do on average . In Australia, the workforce participation rate for women is 61.2 per cent, compared to 71.2 per cent for men. Australian women earn on average 13.4 per cent less than men .
This gender disparity has significant implications for women, who miss out on a source of livelihood and independence; for businesses and industry, who miss out on the benefits of diversity and skills; and for national economies, which fail to fully utilise a critical source of growth – human capital. The gaps in gender participation, representation at senior levels, and wages are particularly apparent in highly traded industries between Indonesian and Australia, such as agriculture, manufacturing and education. The World Economic Forum says the business case for gender diversity is “overwhelming” . Numerous studies have confirmed that gender diversity equates to improved organisational performance, shifts in cultural norms and greater inclusion , and improved behaviour and levels of motivation . There is also evidence that more diverse workplaces and women in leadership improves profitability and longer-term value creation .
Reflecting this evidence, Katalis places gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) at the centre of everything we do. Our goal is to bring GESI considerations to the forefront of all commercial decisions and investments. Using internationally recognised GESI tools, we are identifying the parts of the value chainfor women and other disadvantaged groups to engage and benefit in the trade and investment activities enabled by IA-CEPA. Katalis is also prioritising industries with high female participation and those that allow for disabled workers to participate (such as the digital economy and health sector) for skills and training investments, and we will require, as a minimum, that 50 per cent of participants in activities, training, dialogues and other events are women.
Our GESI focus promotes greater inclusion, trade and investment amongst small to medium enterprises (SMEs), younger entrepreneurs and sub-national businesses. We encourage diverse participants and businesses in Katalis activities and investments, inviting proposals from all stakeholders, and ensuring broad representation in events, skills and training opportunities, and capacity building activities.
Businesses and industries seeking Katalis support should consider how their proposal impacts and advances gender equity and social inclusion, as a key to greater inclusion and commercial success.
- Dezso, Cristian L. and Ross, David Gaddis, Does Female Representation in Top Management Improve Firm Performance? A Panel Data Investigation (March 9, 2011). Robert H. Smith School Research Paper No. RHS 06-104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1088182
- McKinsey & Company, Delivering through Diversity, January 2018Boston Consulting Group, How diverse leadership teams boost innovation, 2018