At the Jobs Summit, Minister for Finance, Women and Public Service Senator Katy Gallagher reportedly said, “as a country we simply can’t afford to leave women’s talent on the shelf. If women’s workforce participation matched men we would increase GDP by 8.7% or $353 billion by 2050?.
Talked to my eldest daughter today. She takes care of her three young children while working part time, during four days a week. If it were affordable, she’d like to cut her work hours down somewhat so that she could better support her husband who works long hours and spend more time with her three children. But hold on, what about GDP?
Just think if we could get all married women with children into the full-time workforce? Import paid carers from foreign parts to do the nurturing. What a double boon for the country’s GDP.
As to migration, we need more and yet more. Yes, schools, hospitals, public transport, roads will get more stressed and crowded; yes, urban sprawl will go on increasing; yes, crime will probably rise; yes, social and cultural cohesion will likely suffer. But think of the GDP.
So, married women, when you’re feeling exhausted, frazzled and bothered, as you’re driving through heavy traffic each evening to pick up your kids from extended childcare, thankful for micro-wave ovens for quick cooking, remember also to be thankful that you’re playing your part in boosting GDP by displaying your talent. Of course, not necessarily as a senator like Ms Gallagher or corporate high-flyer who’s broken through the glass ceiling but, say, as a clerical assistant or shop assistant or nurse. You too have your part to play in the grand unfolding of economic growth and national wellbeing, so definitively measured by GDP.