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Minouche Shafik: Keeping talented women working is good for the economy

More women are now going to college than men, but much of that talent later goes to waste. Why? For London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik, the problem is that we don't have systems in place to retain talented women in the workforce in crisis situations like the pandemic, when so many women had to quit their jobs and stay home to take care of their kids. "The talent of all of those women is a huge potential economic gain to our societies," she explains, so we need to find a way to better match them to (remote) jobs that suit their skills. "This is not just about inequality story; this is really an economic efficiency story as well."

She spoke during "Measuring what matters: How women are critical to pandemic recovery," a livestream conversation on October 28, 2021, hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Women have borne the economic brunt of the pandemic

It's no secret that women around the world have shouldered much of the burden brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when it comes to unpaid labor. As London School of Economics director Minouche Shafik points out in this week's episode of GZERO World, on average in the world women do two hours more unpaid work per day than men. And whether we're talking Norway or Pakistan, women have been doing more than their fair share for a long time before COVID hit. So how do women come back from what Shafik calls "the biggest change in the social contract in decades?" That's a major focus of this week's show.

Watch the episode: Is modern society broken?

Podcast: The LSE’s Minouche Shafik on how to fix our broken society

Listen: It was an ongoing question before the pandemic, but coronavirus has made it all the more urgent. With global inequality and extreme poverty on the rise, how do we patch up the many holes in the world's social safety nets? The idea of governments providing all adults with a set amount of cash on a regular basis, no strings attached, is gaining attention worldwide — especially given the need to expand post-pandemic social safety nets. But for London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik, universal basic income "is like giving up on people." Shafik speaks with Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World Podcast.

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