IMF chief says increased effort is needed to meet UN’s goal of ending discrimination
Tackling gender inequality will boost economic growth in developing nations, Christine Lagarde has said, as she urged businesses worldwide to appoint more women to senior posts.
The head of the International Monetary Fund said increasing the proportion of women in prominent business and finance industry jobs could raise economic dynamism and shift firms into thinking about the long-term future of the planet.
Related: Sustainable development goals: changing the world in 17 steps – interactive
IMF head says the male domination of banking could lead to another financial crisis
Christine Lagarde has said male domination of the banking industry made the collapse of Lehman Brothers more likely, as she urged further reforms to prevent a repeat of the financial crisis triggered by its failure a decade ago.
Writing on the IMF blog ahead of the 10th anniversary of the US investment bank’s collapse next week, the head of the International Monetary Fund said significant measures had been taken to fix the financial system, although she warned more work was still required, particularly on gender diversity.
She is the first woman to lead the New York Stock Exchange in its 226 years. Faced with falling sales and government pressure, though, she finds the attention to her gender a distraction
The Fearless Girl is on the move. The bronze sculpture of a little girl defiantly facing off against Wall Street’s Charging Bull launched a million selfies and became an unlikely avatar of the #MeToo movement. Soon it will be transported a few hundred metres down the road in downtown Manhattan to confront another symbol of entrenched masculinity: the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Stacey Cunningham says she couldn’t be more delighted.
“I think she’s fantastic,” says Cunningham, the 67th president of the NYSE and the first woman to head the male-dominated institution in its 226-year history. “For me, she is a message to individuals, though. I think we need to call ourselves to action, especially as women, not to hold ourselves back.”
Whether or not NYSE is sheltering a marketing operation or a vital financial institution is the least of its problems
Governments and firms urged to spend $7tn by 2030 t0 address gap in social care
The world economy faces a looming “care crisis” risking further division between men and women across the planet, according to a UN report calling for governments and companies worldwide to spend at least an extra $7tn on care by 2030.
Making the case for spending on support for children, old people and the neediest in society to double by the end of the next decade, the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned demographic changes alone mean the current path for care funding falls far short of requirements.
Related: Theresa May tells taxpayers to expect to pay more to fund NHS
The duchess wants to champion female empowerment. Letting women participate fully in the workforce would be a good start
There’s nothing quite like a royal wedding to get the British to part with their cash, so in one respect the idea that the new Duchess of Sussex could be good news for the economy is a statement of the blindingly obvious. Retailers have had a tough time recently, and a bit of Meghanmania was just what they needed to get the tills ringing.
Interest in the newest member of the royal family will linger longer than the feelgood factor. People are clearly fascinated by her backstory and take notice of what she thinks. Role models are important, and just as it matters that Christine Lagarde sees fighting for women’s rights as a vital part of her job as head of the International Monetary Fund, so it matters that the Duchess of Sussex calls herself a feminist and wants to champion female empowerment. Feminism is an economic issue.
Related: ‘I’m proud to be a feminist’: Meghan Markle makes online debut as Duchess of Sussex
Related: Will women be equal to men in 100 years? | Margaret Atwood, Lola Okolosie, Polly Toynbee, Athene Donald and Julie Bindel
Let’s talk about the economy without repeating misogynist myths
The economy, according to a newspaper headline, is “at a menopausal moment”. The deputy governor of the Bank of England, former Goldman Sachs banker Ben Broadbent, has been quoted as comparing the current slump in productivity to a similar, and much debated, spell of stagnation in the late years of Queen Victoria’s reign. This period was identified in 1952 by the economist Henry Phelps Brown as “the climacteric of the 1890s”. Broadbent, asked to explain what was meant by a “climacteric”, said that it was a biological word meaning “menopausal, but can apply to both genders … it means you’re past your peak, you’re no longer potent”.
And with that Mr Broadbent, to use another bodily metaphor, fell flat on his face. Anyone equipped with basic common sense, leave alone in possession of a prominent position in public life, ought to be ashamed of the claim that the menopause means that a woman is over the hill and lacks “potency”. Such ideas are, plain and simple, misogynist myths.