Panorama de la Educación 2019: Presentación del informe para España

Es un honor presentarles nuestra edición 2019 del estudio Panorama de la Educación, que este año se centra en la Educación Terciaria. Se trata de un tema cada vez más importante porque, hasta donde podemos predecir, la demanda de personas con conocimientos y habilidades avanzadas seguirá aumentando.  

Además, una Educación Terciaria de calidad mejora la movilidad social y provee oportunidades a la población para ampliar sus horizontes, perfeccionar su capacidad de pensar de forma crítica, y prepararse para la vida en un mundo que evoluciona rápidamente. 

La Educación Terciaria no solo es importante para los individuos, sino también para la comunidad y para la sociedad.  

Por ejemplo, los adultos con Educación Terciaria poseen mejores habilidades y una mayor productividad, mientras que también afirman tener un mejor estado de salud y estar más implicados en su comunidad y en la sociedad. Además, la inversión en la calidad y la participación en Educación Terciaria devuelve beneficios a la sociedad: mayor recaudación de impuestos, menores transferencias sociales y criminalidad, mayor productividad, y, en general, mayor prosperidad económica y mejores niveles de vida.  

Permítanme destacar algunos de los hallazgos clave de este informe y sus implicaciones para España.  

Los datos del estudio Panorama de la Educación confirman la creciente importancia de la Educación Terciaria.  

Las competencias que provee dicho nivel educativo siguen siendo muy demandadas en el mercado de trabajo, a pesar de que el número de personas con un título a nivel terciario creció en los últimos años. El porcentaje de jóvenes entre 25 y 34 años que posee un título de educación terciaria es de 44% en España, mismo porcentaje que el promedio de la OCDE: ¡mayor que nunca! 

DIAPOSITIVA (desempleo por nivel educ.)  

La Educación Terciaria tiene un fuerte impacto positivo en el mercado de trabajo, tanto a nivel de empleo como de salarios. Entre los adultos de 25 a 34 años en España, la tasa de desempleo es de 25% para aquellos con un nivel educativo por debajo de la segunda etapa de Educación Secundaria, de 18% para los que sí la superaron, y de solo 12% para aquellos con Educación Terciaria. 

Además, en España, un nivel de educación más alto protege a las personas frente al desempleo de larga duración: el 40% de los desempleados con Educación Terciaria han estado desempleados durante un año o más, frente al 48% de aquellos que no alcanzaron la segunda etapa de Educación Secundaria. 

En términos de salarios, en España, los adultos con estudios terciarios ganan un 57% más que los graduados de la segunda etapa de Educación Secundaria, porcentaje similar al promedio OCDE y ligeramente superior al promedio UE23, de 52%. 

Además, esta brecha aumenta con la experiencia profesional.  

Pero el mercado no recompensa a las mujeres con estudios terciarios en la misma medida que a los hombres. 

Entre los empleados a tiempo completo con estudios terciarios, las mujeres ganan menos que los hombres en todos los países de la OCDE, si bien la brecha de género en España es menor que la brecha promedio en la OCDE.  

En 2017, las españolas entre 25 y 64 años con Educación Terciaria cobraban el 82% del salario de los hombres con el mismo nivel educativo, frente al 75% en promedio en la OCDE.  

En todo caso, en los países que cuentan con datos por ámbito de estudio, se observa que en algunos ámbitos las mujeres están más “penalizadas” que en otros. Es el caso del ámbito de los negocios, la administración y el derecho en la mayoría de países con datos.  

La incorporación al mundo laboral de un creciente número de mujeres ha suscitado un mayor interés por parte de las autoridades en la expansión de los programas de Educación y Atención a la Primera Infancia (EAPI). Dichos programas constituyen un pilar fundamental sobre el que asentar las bases del desarrollo cognitivo y mitigar los efectos de la falta de equidad a lo largo de la vida. 

En este rubro, España cuenta con mejores resultados que la mayoría de países de la OCDE. En 2017, el 97% de los niños de 3 a 5 años estaban matriculados en programas EAPI, frente al 87% en promedio en la OCDE.  

Los datos también nos muestran la importancia que España concede a las primeras etapas de EAPI, con un 36% de niños menores de 3 años matriculados en programas EAPI, 10 puntos porcentuales por encima del promedio de la OCDE y 21 puntos porcentuales más que en 2005.  

Un financiamiento público sostenido es esencial para asegurar la calidad y el buen desarrollo de los programas EAPI. Una dotación económica adecuada facilita la contratación de personal cualificado con suficiente experiencia para apoyar el desarrollo cognitivo, social y emocional de los niños. En 2016, el gasto total en los programas educativos para los niños de 3 a 5 años ascendió a 0.5% del PIB en España, siendo el promedio en la OCDE del 0.6%. Y el gasto anual por niño (6,900 dólares) fue inferior al de los países de la OCDE (8,100 dólares). 

En España, la ratio entre niños/personal docente en Educación Infantil se encuentra por debajo del promedio de la OCDE y de los países UE23 en el nivel de educación preprimaria (CINE 02): 14 alumnos, frente a los 16 en promedio en los países de la OCDE, y a los 15 en el entorno UE23. En el ámbito de los programas de desarrollo educacional de la primera infancia (CINE 01), la ratio en España es similar a la de los países de la OCDE y la UE23, situándose en 10 alumnos por grupo.  

Un descenso de las ratios entre niños y personal docente en el ámbito de la educación de la primera infancia no solo favorece las relaciones interpersonales, sino que, además, permite al personal docente y de apoyo volcarse más eficazmente en las necesidades individuales de los niños, a la vez que se reduce el tiempo de clase dedicado al tratamiento de situaciones disruptivas. 

Ahora bien, la educación requiere un gasto público acorde a su importancia. 

En 2016, el gasto educativo en los niveles desde Primaria a Terciaria en España fue del 4.3% del PIB, del cual 3.1% se destinó a la educación no terciaria y 1.2% a la Terciaria. En cada nivel educativo, el gasto directo en España fue similar al promedio de la UE23, aunque inferior al promedio OCDE.  

Cabe destacar que, en el período 2010-2016, el gasto total como porcentaje del PIB en todos los niveles educativos en España se redujo en un 4.7%, un descenso menor que el del promedio de la OCDE (7.7%) y de la UE23 (10.3%). 

Sin embargo, el gasto educativo por estudiante a tiempo completo en España es menor que en la mayoría de países de la OCDE.  

En 2016, España gastó un total de 9,500 dólares por estudiante, frente a los 10,500 dólares en promedio en los países de la OCDE. La diferencia se debió principalmente al gasto por estudiante en Educación Terciaria, que en España fue de 12,600 dólares, frente a 15,600 dólares en promedio en la OCDE.  

Sin embargo, en términos de PIB per cápita, España alcanza el promedio OCDE: el gasto por estudiante a tiempo completo desde Educación Primaria a Terciaria fue del 26% del PIB per cápita, y del 23% el destinado a la educación no terciaria. 

Ahora bien, ¿cómo se financia la educación? No solo el sector público invierte en este rubro, sino que también el sector privado contribuye de manera importante.  

En 2016, el 14% del gasto total en instituciones educativas de Educación Primaria y Secundaria en España procedió de financiamiento privado, por encima del 10% en promedio en la OCDE y del 8% en promedio en países de la UE23.  

El financiamiento privado es especialmente importante en Educación Terciaria, donde el gasto privado cubre el 33% del coste educativo de este nivel, similar al promedio de la OCDE (32%) y superior al de la UE23 (24%). 

Un requisito indispensable para el éxito de un sistema educativo son los profesores, y hay que poner el foco en atraer a los mejores a la profesión docente.  

Los salarios reglamentarios iniciales del profesorado en España son considerablemente más elevados que en promedio en la OCDE.  

Al igual que en el entorno OCDE, el salario del profesorado incrementa con la experiencia, aunque no crece a la misma velocidad que en otros países.  

La diferencia en los niveles retributivos entre España y el promedio OCDE se estrecha para el profesorado con 15 años de experiencia. Por ejemplo, los docentes españoles de primera etapa de Educación Secundaria al inicio de su carrera ganaron 11,300 dólares más que el promedio OCDE, aunque esta ventaja se redujo a los 4,800 dólares para el profesorado con 15 años de experiencia. 

Señoras y señores,  

Los datos que se presentan en nuestra serie Panorama de la Educación ayudan a informar sobre el rango de intervenciones y políticas que se necesitan para lograr el objetivo de una educación equitativa y de calidad. 

Es nuestra responsabilidad compartida ayudar a los jóvenes a aprovechar al máximo las oportunidades existentes y tomar decisiones informadas sobre su futuro.  

Para lograr esto, debemos ampliar las oportunidades, aumentar las opciones de programas y calificaciones, y construir puentes más fuertes con el mercado laboral. Esto también significa invertir en la orientación de los estudiantes para que cada uno encuentre su lugar en la sociedad y pueda contribuir con el máximo de su potencial.  

Solo entonces los estudiantes podrán adquirir el conocimiento y las competencias que puedan llevarlos adelante y cambiar sus vidas para mejor. 

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Opening Remarks: Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum

A successful mission to Cairo, Egypt on September 9 to open the Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum with Minister Sahar Nasr and discuss the OECD-Egypt Country Programme.

Minister Nasr, Ambassador Thesleff,

Excellencies and Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am delighted to be here today to welcome you to the National Consultation on Women’s Economic Empowerment in Egypt. I would like to thank Her Excellency Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Co-operation of Egypt, for hosting this meeting.

Minister Nasr co-hosted the launch of the MENA-OECD Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum (WEEF) here in Cairo two years ago and is co-Chair of the Forum, alongside Her Excellency Marie-Claire Swärd-Capra, Swedish Ambassador to Algeria.

I would also like to thank His Excellency, Jan Thesleff, Ambassador of Sweden to Egypt, for his strong personal support for this meeting and more broadly for Sweden’s leadership in the OECD’s gender equality work.

It is particularly fitting to discuss women’s empowerment here in Cairo. For centuries, Egypt has been called “Masr, oum el dounia” – the mother of the world. Indeed, its history has been shaped by powerful women.

Many of the women (and men) sitting in this room today are continuing in their footsteps! Over the centuries, Egypt has succeeded in blending many cultures and religions to become a dynamic, diverse society, and it has become one of the MENA region’s biggest economies. However, this pre-eminence also comes with growing expectations from its burgeoning, young population.

Egypt has taken important steps to further women’s rights. I am very glad that H.E. Ambassador Moushira Khattab accepted to be with us today and to moderate this afternoon’s discussion on the power of role models in achieving gender equality. During the 2000s, the remarkable work she led at the institutional level resulted in a range of reforms meant to put an end to early marriages, human trafficking, and female genital mutilations (FGM). Egypt played a leading role among African countries in the fight against FGM, and the law that was adopted to criminalise it in 2008 was taken as an example by many African countries.

Efforts to reduce gender-based discrimination continued. In 2014, Egypt prohibited gender-based violence in its constitution – which is not the case for all OECD countries – and formulated a National Strategy for combating violence against women.

In 2017, President Al Sissi declared the “year of Egyptian women” and released the “Egyptian Women Vision 2030: Women Empowerment Strategy”.  The same year, Minister Nasr helped champion Egypt’s Investment Law No. 72 to protect women investors from discrimination.

The National Council of Women, presided by Dr. Maya Morsi (in the audience), is leading a number of efforts, including a campaign to ensure that women are no longer denied the right to inherit. Most recently, at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, President Al Sissi reminded world leaders of the importance of boosting women’s empowerment.

Additionally, women in the MENA region are proving increasingly qualified to take advantage of opportunities. While in many Western countries, low female participation in STEM fields is a significant concern, the opposite is true in many MENA countries.

According to UNESCO, 34-57 percent of STEM graduates in Arab countries are women and one in three start-ups in the Arab World is founded or led by women.

Although these are just a few examples, they show the growing momentum in Egypt in support of greater women’s economic empowerment. But the fact remains that despite these efforts, gender equality remains a long way off in Egypt, as it does to varying degrees in countries across the world. 

In Egypt, as elsewhere, the challenges women face from economic, political and legislative barriers are compounded by deeply-held gender stereotypes. 

Sixty-three percent of Egyptians (almost two thirds) think that children will suffer when the mother is employed outside the home.[i] More than 70% of men and women believe that wives should tolerate violence to keep the family together.[ii]

Let me share with you a shocking statistic: eighty-seven percent of Egyptian women and girls aged 15-49 have experienced female genital mutilation, the highest in the world.[iii]  

These practices not only endanger people’s well-being and the social fabric, but they also threaten the economy: it is estimated that violence against women and families cost an estimated 2.17 billion Egyptian pounds (over € 115 million) in 2015.[iv] I hope very much to see Egypt represented at a global conference the OECD is holding in Paris on tackling violence against women on 5-6 February 2020.

We at the OECD are fundamentally convinced that gender equality is a pre-condition for building happier, healthier and more prosperous societies.  For this reason, we have made women’s economic, political and social empowerment a core pillar of our work.

Our 2017 publication “The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle” shows that gender inequality still pervades all aspects of social, political and economic life, in countries at all levels of development. The OECD SIGI 2019 Global Report shows that at the current pace, it will take more than 200 years, or nine generations, to achieve gender equality and fully unlock women’s empowerment opportunities!

Side-lining women from the economy comes at a great cost. Our data shows that the impact of discrimination in laws, attitudes and practices costs the MENA region a staggering USD 237 billion.[v] So how can we move past these barriers to unlock the potential of women in Egypt? 

This was the question that we first asked in our 2017 publication Women’s Economic Empowerment in Selected MENA Countries: The Impact of Legal Frameworks in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia (hold up report).  As I have mentioned earlier, significant changes are underway to advance gender equality – including legal reforms and other grassroots initiatives – in Egypt and other MENA countries. 

To capture this progress, and gain greater insight into the drivers of change, the OECD is partnering with the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR) on working on a follow-up publication to our 2017 report.

The purpose of today’s consultation is thus to listen and learn from our Egyptian partners about how they have succeeded in advancing legislative reforms in favour of women’s economic empowerment and pinpointing which challenges remain to be addressed.

This meeting provides an opportunity to brainstorm potential solutions together; solutions that could work for Egypt and perhaps also inspire change elsewhere.

But let us not making the mistake of thinking that the law is enough and is the only solution. I really hope that today’s meeting will also mark the start of a renewed commitment in setting the priorities for a successful reform process. Administrative tools and policy support are crucial for the legislative measures to be implemented and enforced. There can’t be effectiveness without implementation and enforcement. Let’s keep this in mind.

During today’s event, we will also have an important session on how role-modelling programmes can help combat engrained gendered stereotypes. I am proud that the OECD launched an initiative in Mexico – NiñasSTEMPueden – that has been very successful in using role models to encourage girls to enter the STEM field, and it has been chosen to be showcased in November’s Paris Peace Forum. 

I look forward to hearing from the inspiring women and men role models here about the innovative ways they have pushed the envelope for greater gender equality in Egypt. 

I look forward to the rest of the day’s discussions. Thank you


[i] OECD (2019), Gender Institutions and Development Database, https://oe.cd/ds/GIDDB2019

[ii] UN Women, Understanding Masculinities, 2017

[iii] Thomas Reuters Foundation, Egypt: The Law and FGM, June 2018, https://www.28toomany.org/static/media/uploads/Law%20Reports/egypt_law_report_v1_(june_2018).pdf

[iv] Based on the cost of the most recent severe incident of violence. UNFPA, CAPMAS and NCW, The Egypt economic cost of gender based violence survey, 2015.

[v]OECD (2019), SIGI 2019 Global Report: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities, Social Institutions and Gender Index, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/bc56d212-en.

Presentation of the Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Coalition ahead of the G7 Summit in Biarritz

B4IG was presented to President Emmanuel Macron by the OECD and CEOs of the 34 leading international companies composing the B4IG coalition at the Elysée Palace on Friday, August 23, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz.

The G7 B4IG coalition, coordinated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is the first business-led initiative of its kind, thanks to its 360° approach to tackling inequality, international dimension, and multi-stakeholder approach focused on building synergies between companies, governments and philanthropic organizations.

Cher Président, Chers Ministres, Chers Très Hauts Responsables d’Entreprises,

A la OCDE nous sommes fiers de conjuguer nos forces avec celles de 34 entreprises mondiales pour combattre les inégalités, , et de repondre a l’appel de la Presidence Francaise du G7, et du President Macron, pour addresse cet defi majeur pour nos economies et nos societes. Je voudrais remercier  le Secretaire General Gurria pour son soutien, et aussi Emmanuel Faber et toutes ses équipes, ainsi que celles de l’OCDE, pour avoir travaillé avec tant de passion pour ressembler ces entreprises, leaders dans leur domaine et dans la pratique de nouveaux modèles d’entreprise inclusifs.

 Pour l’OECD c’est claire. La croissance des inequalities n’est pas seulment un problem social, ou un problem politique, mais c’est aussi un grand probleme economique car ilya une impact negative des inegalites dans la productivite et la croissance economique. Nous comprenons donc, l’interet des entreprises que se sont joint a les addresse.

At the OECD we have been documenting the nexus between inclusion and productivity. But we have also confirmed how inequality of income can bring inequality of opportunites and outcomes, and even of life expectancy. This touches 40% of the OECD population. We have  confirmed the stalled social mobility, the shrinking middle class, the lack of gender parity,  the increased job precariousness, and the fact that the top income earners in the world  concentrate 80 percent of wealth, while the bottom 20% only holds 1 percent. No wonder why there is such an impact on trust.

But  the priority placed by the G7, and the actions of the companies that now join us in the B4IG, demonstrates that a new reality is feasible. We will prove that integrating equity and inclusion at the heart of the business models,  create new economic opportunities.. This is  beyond  corporate responsibility, it is the future of the business sector

B4IG will amplify, track and learn from the pioneering solutions proposed by companies, and will bring the connection with the public sector efforts, leveraging the synergies of the financing mechanisms. The OECD will put its rigour, its evidence and its data to the service of the platform  But we will do something else. With the companies, we will be assessing impact. We are convinced that commitments are great and we are proud of them, but delivery and change are much more important.  So count with the OECD to make change happen.

FORO ECONÓMICO DE MUJERES LATINOAMÉRICA: La Búsqueda de la Igualdad de Género: una Batalla Cuesta Arriba

Discurso de apertura de Gabriela Ramos

Señoras y señores,  

Es un placer reunirme con ustedes en tan inspirador foro y formar parte de esta comunidad que trabaja por una América Latina y mundo con igualdad de género. 

Como muchos de ustedes saben, la OCDE ha trabajado durante décadas para combatir la desigualdad de género, en particular a partir de 2011 cuando publicamos la Estrategia de Género y la Recomendación de la OCDE sobre la Igualdad de Género en Educación, Empleo y Emprendimiento, seguidas por la Recomendación de la OCDE de 2015 sobre la Igualdad de Género en la Vida Pública. 

Asimismo, la OCDE también jugó un papel fundamental en la inclusión de este tema en la agenda multilateral por primera vez durante la Presidencia australiana del G20 en 2014, cuando los líderes se comprometieron firmemente a reducir la brecha de género en la participación en la fuerza laboral en un 25% para 2025. 

No fue fácil, pues se trata de un grupo mayoritariamente masculino, centrado en temas “serios” vinculados con la economía mundial. ¡Muchos Sherpas incluso comentaron que el género no es un asunto que deba ser abordado por los líderes! 

Ahora bien, a medida que la economía mundial seguía registrando malos resultados, buscábamos nuevas fuentes de crecimiento, por ejemplo, al propiciar que las economías se beneficiaran del talento de las mujeres.  

La OCDE y la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) hicimos cálculos conjuntamente y demostramos que, si se lograba reducir 25% la brecha de género en la participación en la fuerza laboral para 2025, 100 millones de mujeres ingresarían en el mercado laboral. Esta conclusión atrajo el interés de los líderes. 

Desde entonces, todas las presidencias del G20 incluyeron el combate a la desigualdad de género en su agenda.  

No obstante, los avances han sido muy lentos. Aún recuerdo cuando, en mis inicios como Sherpa, empecé a percatarme de las brechas y la desigualdad de género que imperaban por doquier, como si me hubiera arrancado la venda de los ojos. Cuando comenzamos a darnos cuenta de las brechas, es muy difícil percibir algo más. 

Pero lo más grave de todo es la violencia y el feminicidio. Hoy, las mujeres aún enfrentan niveles de violencia inaceptablemente altos. Un tercio de las mujeres del mundo han sido víctimas de violencia doméstica y en América Latina 2,795 mujeres fueron asesinadas en 2017 por razones de género.  

En un estudio realizado recientemente en los países de la OCDE sobre las prioridades en materia de política de género, la lucha contra la violencia de género se reveló como una prioridad. 

El aspecto económico también sigue siendo apremiante. Las mujeres todavía reciben una remuneración considerablemente menor que la de los hombres. En la década pasada la brecha salarial de género disminuyó ligeramente en casi todos los países del G20, pero el promedio es aún de 17%, justo por encima de la cifra de 16% de la región de América Latina y el Caribe (ALC) y también mayor que el promedio de la OCDE, de cerca de 14%. 

Y la maternidad —¡pese a todos sus aspectos positivos!— se convierte en un castigo financiero para muchas mujeres, al contribuir a la desigual participación en el trabajo no remunerado e impedir que las mujeres se involucren de lleno en el mercado laboral. En los últimos 10 años aquí en América Latina la tasa de participación laboral de las mujeres se estancó en cerca de 50%, en comparación con el 75% de los hombres. 

¿Por qué? Porque los países latinoamericanos tienen algunas de las mayores brechas de género en el trabajo no remunerado.  

En América Latina las mujeres dedican cinco horas en promedio al día al trabajo no remunerado, en comparación con menos de dos horas en el caso de los hombres (cifra superior al promedio de la OCDE de cuatro horas para las mujeres y dos horas para los hombres). La OIT estima que en el mundo 606 millones de mujeres, o 41% de aquellas que se encuentran inactivas en la actualidad, están fuera del mercado laboral por responsabilidades familiares no remuneradas. 

Dichas brechas no son aisladas ni están relacionadas con capacidades o características intrínsecas de las mujeres; más bien, tienen su origen en estereotipos de género y normas muy arraigados e incorporados en nuestra cultura. 

Desde temprana edad los niños y las niñas son ubicados en la “casilla” azul o rosa, con sus correspondientes conductas y expectativas: las niñas son frágiles y bonitas, en tanto que los niños son valientes y osados.  

Esto puede ayudar a crear posturas de masculinidad potencialmente peligrosas que se autodefinen mediante el conflicto e incluso la violencia, pero también fomenta las brechas de género, en particular en los sectores de gran crecimiento como el de STEM (ciencias, tecnología, ingeniería y matemáticas) y las funciones de liderazgo político. 

Investigaciones realizadas por la OCDE por medio del Programa para la Evaluación Internacional de los Alumnos (PISA) indican que a los 15 años de edad, las niñas ya tienen dos veces menos probabilidades de aspirar a estudiar para ser ingenieras, científicas o arquitectas.  

No es de sorprender, por tanto, que en los países de la OCDE menos de uno de cada tres egresados del área de ingeniería y menos de uno de cada cinco egresados de informática sean mujeres.  

Esto es así pese al mayor nivel educativo logrado por mujeres y niñas, que ahora representan la mayoría de los egresados universitarios en  los países de la OCDE y pese a que, según conclusiones del programa PISA, las niñas superan a los niños en el tema de la solución de problemas en colaboración. 

Los estereotipos también abren una brecha de liderazgo. En los países de la OCDE, las mujeres constituyen la mayoría (58%) de los empleados del sector público, pero, en promedio, representan solo 29% de los congresistas y 28% de los puestos ministeriales.  

Las brechas de liderazgo también prevalecen de manera similar en el sector privado. Según la publicación OECD Corporate Governance Factbook 2019, la cual cubre 49 jurisdicciones, incluidos todos los países de la OCDE, del G20 y del Consejo de Estabilidad Financiera (FSB), solo el 10% de las jurisdicciones incluyen a las mujeres en al menos un tercio de los consejos de administración de las empresas que cotizan en bolsa.  

De las 49 jurisdicciones cubiertas, 21 tienen menos de 15% de mujeres en sus consejos de administración. Necesitamos que muchas más mujeres ocupen puestos de alto nivel para avanzar en la calidad de la gestión y mejorar el desempeño de las corporaciones. 

Mientras tanto, en todos los países de la OCDE, las mujeres tienen también cerca de la mitad de probabilidades que los hombres de ser emprendedoras, no porque carezcan de competencias, sino porque no tienen confianza en sus habilidades: solo un tercio de las mujeres dice tener competencias suficientes para abrir una empresa, en comparación con la mitad de los hombres.  

E incluso cuando logran arrancar un negocio, tienen menos probabilidades de hacerlo crecer. En los países de la OCDE los hombres emprendedores tienen dos veces más probabilidades que las mujeres de tener empleados.  

Estimaciones recientes sugieren que si se eliminara la brecha de género en la actividad empresarial, el PIB mundial podría aumentar hasta 2%, es decir, 1.5 billones de dólares estadounidenses.  

La buena noticia es que vamos progresando. Algunos países ya han conseguido reducir bastante las brechas de género. En todos los países del G20 se ha registrado un incremento de la participación de las mujeres en la fuerza laboral y ha habido reducciones de la brecha de género particularmente grandes en Japón, Argentina, Brasil y Corea. En cerca de la mitad de los miembros del G20, la reducción de la brecha de género coincide o supera la disminución prevista para alcanzar la mencionada meta. La disminución real fue considerablemente mayor que la proyectada en Australia, el Reino Unido y Alemania. 

Trabajar en estos temas nos ha ayudado a alternar herramientas eficaces, lo cual ayuda a impulsar los avances. Como sabemos, las cuotas son un ejemplo relevante.  

Basta observar lo que se logró en el Senado y en la Cámara de Diputados de México. Además, al solicitar estadísticas de desempeño, detectamos que la paridad de género ha aumentado la productividad de dichas cámaras en términos de promulgación de leyes.  

El permiso parental para ambos padres es también una herramienta clave y al respecto el Reino Unido tiene dos modelos interesantes: mi amiga la ex embajadora del Reino Unido tomó un año para atender a sus gemelos, para luego recibir la recompensa de ser considerada en primer lugar para buenos destinos. Recuerdo también a una directora general de asuntos globales que trabajaba en ese puesto los lunes y los martes, mientras otra ejecutiva que recién había tenido un hijo ocupaba el puesto de directora general el resto de la semana.  

Varios países de la OCDE han puesto a prueba diferentes programas para estimular el uso de permisos de paternidad con, por ejemplo, incentivos financieros y planes sin negociación.  

En países como Suecia, Islandia y Alemania dichos planes han aumentado considerablemente la participación de los padres en las labores de atención a los hijos.     

La OCDE también encabeza iniciativas para romper con los estereotipos, como la iniciativa NiñaSTEM Pueden implantada en México, que inspira a las niñas, a través de ejemplos positivos de mujeres, a desarrollar una carrera exitosa en las áreas STEM. Tenemos que proporcionar esos modelos de rol pues la mayoría de las niñas no aspirarán ni se esforzarán por convertirse en algo que no pueden ver. Así que invitamos a mujeres astronautas, pilotos, ingenieras, arquitectas, y el efecto que causan en las niñas es asombroso. Es una idea muy sencilla y, sin embargo, sumamente transformadora. Me siento orgullosa porque este proyecto fue elegido para presentarse en el Foro de París sobre la Paz.   

Necesitamos también transparencia y legislación contra la remuneración desigual, la ausencia de mujeres en los consejos de administración y su escasa representación en los puestos de dirección general. Las empresas ciertamente se están quedando atrás en este sentido.  

La legislación del Reino Unido que exige a las empresas que revelen sus brechas salariales entre los géneros ya ejerce un extraordinario impacto desde su promulgación en 2018. Las cifras obtenidas de la encuesta sobre tendencias de empleo realizada por la Confederación de la Industria Británica (CBI) muestran que 93% de las empresas están tomando medidas para reducir la brecha salarial entre los géneros y aumentar la diversidad de su fuerza laboral, en comparación con el 62% de aquellas a las que se les planteó una pregunta semejante en 2017.   

Somos una organización económica que centraba su atención en asuntos económicos, pero también estamos trabajando en las normas culturales y sociales que alimentan las brechas, como señala nuestro Índice de Instituciones Sociales e Igualdad de Género (SIGI). La violencia es una prioridad particular en la que nos enfocaremos a principios de 2020 mediante una gran conferencia mundial sobre el combate a la violencia contra las mujeres. Invito a todos ustedes a participar en ella. 

La herramienta más eficaz para reequilibrar las brechas de género y tratar a las mujeres con dignidad, es educar a niñas y niños libres de estereotipos. Esto quiere decir tener escuelas, docentes y libros de texto neutrales en materia de género, pero también seguir de cerca a los medios de comunicación y la manera como se retrata a las mujeres en los mensajes publicitarios y las redes sociales.  

Esto forma parte del trabajo constante de la OCDE orientado a proteger a los niños en la red y enmarcar las políticas digitales también en torno a objetivos de bienestar más amplios, lo que constituye el núcleo de nuestro proyecto Going Digital. 

Una enseñanza clave es que en todas estas áreas, ¡no podemos lograr lo que nos proponemos sin los hombres! Cada vez son más los hombres que se pronuncian a favor de la igualdad de género y de todos los beneficios que pueden recibir en un mundo en el que la igualdad de género prevalezca.  

Los hombres deberán tener la libertad de desarrollarse en carreras profesionales tradicionalmente desempeñadas por mujeres, de trabajar de manera flexible y de pasar más tiempo con su familia y en su hogar.  

Los resultados que obtenemos en todos los campos en nuestras sociedades y economías con la profundización de las divisiones, la exclusión, la violencia, el rechazo de enfoques multilaterales y el populismo en aumento, nos indican que las circunstancias tienen que cambiar. 

El peligro más apremiante en el futuro es que los buenos resultados que hemos obtenido están en riesgo, como lo están todos los objetivos multilaterales cuando grandes países del mundo han optado por la confrontación y la exclusión por encima de la cooperación internacional. No solo en cuestiones de género, sino incluyendo las cuestiones de género.  

Encontramos que es cada vez más difícil mencionar el género en nuestras declaraciones negociadas, ¡ahora no podemos ni tan siquiera mencionar los derechos reproductivos! De modo que en la lucha por promover el empoderamiento de la mujer, debemos seguir construyendo un mundo más amigable y más cooperativo.  

Estos dos intereses van de la mano y se refuerzan mutuamente, por lo que les invito a seguir luchando y, al igual que dijo Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Directora Ejecutiva de ONU Mujeres ¡empujen cuando te empujen hacia atrás! (push back against the push back) 

Muchas gracias. 

OECD Horizontal Housing Project: First Steering Group Meeting Welcome Remarks

Dear Ambassadors, Committee Chairs, Delegates, TUAC and BIAC Members,

I am very pleased to be here to  open the first steering group meeting of the horizontal housing project “Building an OECD Housing Strategy”.

This work is of key as we observe rises in housing prices in many countries, inequality of access to quality safe housing, rapid transformation of urban and rural landscapes, and widespread demographic changes as a result of migration.

As part of our mission to promote sustainable and inclusive growth, access to good-quality housing is fundamental to improving the well-being, health and opportunities of people around the world.

It is important to emphasise that sharply rising house prices are not inevitable. Indeed, real house prices rose only little in the 75 years to 1945, but they have trebled in the following 75 years.[1][MES1] 

The OECD’s recent publication “Under Pressure: the Squeezed Middle Class” shows how housing has become increasingly unaffordable over time: In 1985, it took 6.8 years of annual income to buy a 60m2 flat for a middle class family.2 It now takes 10.2 years, which is a third more.

The middle class lifestyle is now facing increasing financial pressure partially as a result of the cost of housing rising well above inflation in many countries.[2]

In sixteen OECD countries in 2016, more than 40% of low‐income owners with a mortgage spent over 40% of their disposable income on a mortgage. The same was true for low-income renters in private rentals in fourteen OECD countries. In Greece and the United States, low-income dwellers face a similar housing cost burden, regardless of tenure: in both countries, more than half of the low-income population spent over 40% of disposable income on rent or a mortgage in 2016.

Innovations in transport mobility have meant that we have easier access to faster forms of transport and we are able to move quickly and easily between urban, suburban and rural areas.

But gains in mobility have faded and many cities suffer from urban sprawl, heavy congestion, pollution. At the same time, land use regulations have become less and less friendly to building new homes, pushing up house prices.

If business stays as usual, paying for rent or paying back a mortgage will eat up an ever larger share of income, limiting opportunities to save and stifling social mobility.

Rising house prices also expose people to financial risks. As we learned ten years ago, elevated house prices have a tendency to crash. Some countries are still suffering from the ramifications of the latest crash ten years ago. We cannot afford another one.

There is also the question of unequal access to quality housing. Today, about 15% of people in the OECD live in overcrowded housing.[3] This contributes to deepen inequalities, passing disadvantage from one generation to the next, as children are particularly affected.

On average, more than one-in-five children aged 0-17 live in an overcrowded household in European OECD countries. In Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and the Slovak Republic, over half of all children live in overcrowded households. Such housing conditions have been shown to inhibit learning capacity at school, as overcrowded dwellings may bring higher levels of stress that hinder learning.[4]

Countries are stepping up the plate to address these challenges. Across OECD countries, we see governments increasingly engaged in improving the quality and affordability of housing. For example, Berlin and New York have both enacted stricter rent control regulations recently. Seeing this growing appetite for promoting affordable, quality housing, it is time for the OECD, as the house of best practices and evidence-based policy recommendations to step in in support of our members.

This horizontal housing project does not start from scratch, building on years of work across several directorates.

ECO took on a very successful housing project 10 year ago. ELS launched the third wave of the Questionnaire on Affordable Housing (QuASH) in May. CFE has already done a considerable amount of work on land use governance and has recently launched work on smart cities, which is critical for both the inclusive and sustainability agendas.

Housing has also been an important area for the OECD’s Inclusive Growth Initiative, including the Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth.

These are just a few examples. But, as it stands, this work is often piecemeal and stands to gain from increased coordination and horizontality.

This is why the horizontal housing project will dig into the impact of housing on well-being and inclusive growth in a more holistic way.

The project leverages the unique capacity of the OECD to bring together insights that the different OECD directorates have developed on housing to enhance policy coherence across the many objectives and dimensions of housing-related challenges.  

Ultimately, the housing project will deliver a blueprint for achieving an inclusive housing strategy.

This framework will evaluate policy measures and objectives across multiple policy dimensions in a coherent way rather than evaluating measures within separate silos.

The indicators identified as most meaningful will enrich the OECD’s toolkit for measuring well-being along the housing dimension.

I look forward to a stimulating discussion and to hearing about your experiences, challenges and policy solutions. You will be guiding, providing advice to, and shaping the important work the OECD will do on designing policies for efficient, affordable, inclusive and sustainable housing. We count on you to help us advance in this domain and we look forward to working with you all to ensure everyone has access to a quality, affordable home for them and their children.

Thank you.


[1]. Katharina Knoll, Moritz Schularick, and Thomas Steger. No price like home: global house prices, 1870-2012. The American Economic Review, 107(2):331-353, 2017.

2. Middle class family refers to a median income couple with two children.

[2] https://www.oecd.org/els/soc/OECD-middle-class-2019-main-findings.pdf

[3] See https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/5jm3p5gl4djd-en.pdf?expires=1562322402&id=id&accname=ocid84004878&checksum=C4A0B21A4EEDCECAC5D09B5009CC7776

[4] https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2019_soc_glance-2019-en


 [MES1]Maybe not necessary?

“How can experts recover their legitimacy?” Session at the Rencontres Économiques d’Aix-en-Provence

This session at the Rencontres Économiques d’Aix-en-Provence on July 5th focused on the role of and trust in experts in today’s world. Below are my thoughts on the issue:

The growing influence of “fake news” and the expansion of post-truth politics is evidence of a growing mistrust in scientific knowledge and evidence. But the key to understanding this loss of trust in science is to look not specifically at science itself, but at the broader context of inequalities and trust in government and institutions. Trust in governments stands at around 40% in OECD countries.[1] This lack of confidence in governments and experts is a result of our economic models having failed a large share of people and the planet. We have long operated on a mantra of “grow first, redistribute later.” But with a small portion of the population capturing majority of the benefits of growth while the rest face the tough effects of the decoupling of wages from growth, we must recognize that this mantra does not deliver. In essence, the benefits of growth and integration have not trickled down.

The OECD has been documenting inequalities for many decades. We have found that the average disposable income of the richest 10% is 9.5 times that of the poorest 10% across the OECD, up from 7 times 25 years ago. The richest 10% in the OECD own around half of all household assets, whilst the bottom 40% own barely 3%.[2]

Our recently released report A Broken Social Elevator? How to Promote Social Mobility reveals that social mobility is stalling: it takes 5 generations for the poorest children to reach the OECD mean.

It is no wonder because it is not just the bottom of the income distribution that is losing out, it is also the middle. Our recent report Under Pressure: Squeezed Middle Class shows that middle incomes have grown a third less in the last 30 years than the average of the top 10%, while the cost of housing is growing three times faster than the household median income across the OECD. Costs of healthcare and education are also rising above inflation, while uncertainty and precarity are on the rise.

The frustration of a growing proportion of people left behind by traditional economic models is driving populism. Populism distorts realities, ignores facts and builds compelling narratives based on false information that connects with people’s emotions. For example, the fact that climate change, which has been scientifically proven time and again, can be ignored is an example of the power of populist rhetoric.

Digital technologies are enabling the behaviour, whether conscious or unconscious, of ignoring science and evidence, and promoting instead the information that plays on our emotions and existing views and biases.

Furthermore, digital technologies have unfortunately undermined the relative power and influence of scientific journals. Social media and web-based sources are diffusing information very quickly, irrespective of whether it is grounded in peer-reviewed processes and evidence. When combined with the algorithmic curating and customising that some platforms use to deliver content and ads to consumers, this creates echo chambers.

This has led to the rise of echo chambers as humans have a tendency to look for information consistent with their existing beliefs, or to interpret information according to their beliefs.

Echo chambers can lead to views becoming more entrenched, can cut people off from the full spectrum of mainstream news and opinion, and can reinforce bias, including against legitimate scientific evidence and expertise.

Echo chambers are a growing problem. A 2016 study of around 50 000 people across 26 countries found that social media had overtaken television among 18-24 year olds as their main source of news.

The phenomenon of echo chambers also raises risks of political manipulation, which threatens democracy by fuelling populist and even extremist views.

Political campaigns use echo chambers to promote ideologies and discredit facts, sometimes illegally, as we saw with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where the personal data of millions of people was harvested from Facebook for political advertising purposes.

Furthermore, the various elements of these processes are not always overseen by humans anymore. Rather, developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning are taking a lot of the human intuition and ethical instinct out of online services. These dangers add to calls for more transparency and accountability of AI systems. Thus, the OECD’s AI Principles, adopted this May and endorsed by G20 Leaders as the basis of non-binding G20 AI Principles, promote transparency, explainability and accountability in AI systems. We are now working on concrete guidelines to help countries implement the AI Principles.

Echo chambers also enable the dissemination of fake news, a strong indicator of the deterioration of trust in experts and powerful fuel for populist movements. A recent study published in Science Magazine analysed 126,000 news stories shared on Twitter between 2006 to 2017 by 3 million users. It found that a false story reaches 1,500 people six times faster, on average, than a true story does and that is not just because of bots. A key takeaway is that content that arouses strong emotions spreads further, faster, more deeply, and more broadly on social media. Fake news posts are crafted to appeal to its readers’ psychological desires.

This context is particularly alarming, as fake news can have a direct and harmful impact on people’s well-being. In many countries, false health claims are generating mistrust in vaccination programs, with citizens delaying or refusing to get vaccinated.

The World Health Organisation and UNICEF are sounding the alarm about a decline in immunization rates and a rise in measles cases, with 98 countries (among which France) reporting a higher number of measles cases in 2018 than in 2017.

The combined effect of all of this is undoubtedly crippling democracy. But we must also understand that the current state of democracy deserves scrutiny. It is not enough to support free elections. We must ensure that the process of electing leaders is fair, just, and informed by evidence. This includes limiting the influence of economic inequality on political inequality, ensuring that money doesn’t grant undue influence to certain groups or individuals.

Democratic leaders must also, once elected, be ready and willing to debate and look at facts and evidence when making decisions. Democracies will not deal with the challenges of the 21st century – technological change, climate change, rising inequality – without the full contribution of science. And if we do not elect leaders willing to support and engage with scientific fact and debate, we are all losing out. In the face of urgent social and economic needs, this must involve long-term investment in research and development, improving scientific education and training, promoting public engagement in science and helping direct the energies and ingenuity to our most pressing needs.

Cherry-picking the evidence, suppressing findings not consistent with a government or political agenda or censoring and truncating analysis not only undermine the legitimacy of science but also inhibit effective decision-making.

It is evident that ‘more facts’ or ‘more evidence’ are not enough to address these challenges. As a result of growing inequalities, people react increasingly to rhetoric that speaks to their concerns, fears, and emotions. And even if it might be convenient to blame technology, we need to take a look at our human nature and our social structures to find solutions.

If we want to reinstitute trust, we cannot use the same recipes’ that contributed to break it. We need to share the benefits of growth more equally, we need to preserve the environment; we need to move away from the supremacy of the economic profession and decision making, and listen more to people’s concerns and views. In this sense, populism is not to be entirely disparaged. Rather we can learn from it. Populism is proving that people are feeling left behind and are in need of leadership and public policy that works for them. In order to restore the legitimacy of evidence and experts we must build narratives that put people back at the centre of policy.

As an evidence based organization, the OECD is taking this on board. We are channeling new approaches that go beyond outdated models through our New Approaches to Economic Challenges initiative, looking at behavioural insights and the role of emotions and narratives in shaping public and political life.

We recognize that we need a multifaceted response. We have to acknowledge the importance of treating the root causes of the problem. This includes fixing the growth model, to make it more inclusive and fuel social mobility. To do so, we have developed the Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth. This requires coordinated investments in the people, places and firms that have been left behind. We need to look at early childhood education and care, at healthcare, education, including digital skills, and quality jobs. We need to strengthen collective bargaining, as well as social safety nets.

We also need to restore trust through more responsive governments, by tackling the failings of democratic systems such as rising inequalities and corruption. The OECD has a wide range of integrity tools and also instruments to tackle tax evasion and avoidance. BEPS and Automatic Exchange of Information have yielded over 95 billion euros in additional revenue collected from taxpayers coming forward and disclosing formerly concealed assets and income through voluntary compliance mechanisms and other offshore investigations.

We also need to develop resilience to misinformation and disinformation. The OECD’s PISA Survey has moved beyond basic competencies (mathematics, science and reading) to assess education systems’ ability to equip students with core competences such as critical thinking, problem-solving, social and emotional skills. These are the “Global Competencies” they will need to develop their own understanding and navigate an increasingly complex world as responsible adults and citizens.

We also need to harness technology to engage people with science. Societal engagement can take place across the research process – from agenda setting to co-production of research and dissemination of scientific information. One example is leveraging public research infrastructures to provide a focus for citizen science. In the field of astronomy, for example, lay persons are helping to classify images of the night sky that are shared on line. Another example is hackathons – these are a common way of addressing software development challenges.

Luckily, trust in science has not collapsed completely. The Wellcome Global Monitor, a global survey of more than 140,000 people in of 140 countries showed that nearly three-quarters of people worldwide trust scientists: 54% at a medium level and 18% at a high level. Only 14% had a low level of trust in science. But it is impossible to ignore the negative consequences of the effect the expansion of fake news and post-truth politics are having on our democracies, societies, and personal well-being. We must work to combat these issues through investments in inclusive growth to ensure no one is left behind.


[1] https://www.oecd.org/gov/trust-in-government.htm

[2] http://www.oecd.org/fr/social/inequality.htm

IOE Presidents’ Forum: Conversation with Gabriela Ramos “The G20 as an engine for reform – successes and ongoing challenges”

Remarks delivered for the session entitled “The G20 as an engine for reform – successes and ongoing challenges – In conversation with Gabriela Ramos” at the International Organisation of Employers’ Presidents’ Forum “Leadership in Changing Times” on 18 June 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Today we have heard a lot different forms of leadership in changing times. In this context, I would like to focus on one of the world’s leading global fora – the Group of 20 – reflecting on some of its landmark success before turning to its current challenges.

To start, I want to take you back to the G20’s birth as a leaders’ forum in the aftermath of the 2008-9 global financial crisis. This was the pivotal moment where the actions of G-20 leaders helped to turn the crisis around – by boosting consumer and business confidence to prevent broader contamination of the crisis, and by supporting the first stages of economic recovery through their co-ordination of a massive USD500bn stimulus package.

Other successes followed, with G20 leaders committing to a standstill on trade protectionism. They also set in motion a complete overhaul of financial markets regulatory framework and supported requirements for banks and other financial institutions to hold more capital.

Since those early days, the G20 has also made great strides in its agenda to promote a more level playing field by enhancing international tax co‑operation, eliminating tax fraud and reducing tax avoidance globally. Over time, this has become a truly great achievement for the G20. Through the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information (EOI) for Tax Purposes, hosted by the OECD, governments around the world have identified over EUR 95 billion in additional revenue through voluntary compliance mechanisms and other offshore investigations. And it has been good news for developing countries too. Through this work, tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning is being gradually and systematically tackled through the OECD/G20 BEPS Action Plan, which is now addressing the critical issue of the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy.

At the 2014 Australian G20 Summit in Brisbane, the OECD put forward the economic case for promoting women’s participation in the labour force be a key condition for stronger and more inclusive growth. This resulted in the G20 Brisbane Goal to reduce the gender gap in labour market participation rates by 25% by 2025, through the integration of 100 million more women into the labour force.

But by far the G20’s biggest success to date has been the trust that brought all these countries together in the first place to define common solutions to their common challenges – with the clear understanding that they could not “go solo”. In other words, G20 leaders recognised the fundamental interconnected-ness of the global economy in terms of GVCs and technologies, and the need to act together to ensure recovery while preventing the imbalances that led to the GFC in the first place. Furthermore, the G20 also provided the badly needed political momentum behind landmark agreements such as the climate Paris Agreement and the global goals for sustainable development, while also delivering in Bali on the last WTO –sponsored global agreement, i.e. the agreement on trade facilitation.

So where are we now? Despite all these achievements, we nevertheless find ourselves at a critical juncture. The world economy has entered yet another period of deceleration. Global GDP growth has slowed abruptly over the past year, going from close to 4% down to 3%. Our simulations show that renewed trade tensions between the US and China could end up shaving more than 0.6% from global GDP over the next two to three years.[1]

Decelerating investment growth during the post-crisis period has dampened the pace of convergence in per capita GDP between emerging market and developing economies, and advanced economies (other than China), and has slowed capital accumulation. Continued weak investment growth will make filling large investment gaps in EMDEs more challenging.

Meanwhile, new trade-restrictive measures are on the rise through tariff increases, import bans and export duties, adding to policy uncertainty and adversely affected business investment. Amongst the G20 economies for which current data are available, annual fixed investment growth has halved (from around 5% in 2017 to 2 1/2 % at the end of 2018). Productivity growth is low, even in the context of the digital transformation.  And there are increasing divergences on trade, on migration, and on many other issues.

Also, renewed risks are building up in the system, i.e the very same ones that led to the 2008-2009 crisis. Public sector and private sector debt is growing. Between 2007 and 2018, outstanding central government debt for the OECD area doubled and the debt-to-GDP ratio rose from 49.5% to 72.6%. Over the same period, the global stock of non-financial corporate bonds has almost doubled in real terms, at close to USD 13 trillion. The systemic risks are clear.

Today, we are living in a world with a potentially explosive conjunction of toxic “-isms”: protectionism, populism, nationalism, parochialism. They are themselves the symptoms of anxieties of people for their jobs, for the future of their children, and vis-à-vis technological change, digitalisation and globalisation more generally. Those perceptions are not groundless as documented in our recent Broken Elevator and Squeezed Middle Class reports. The middle classes are squeezed and shrinking and the share of wages in GDP keeps falling. Fourteen percent (14%) of jobs today are at high risk of being automated, while a further 32% could face substantial changes in content and 65% of children today will do jobs that have not yet been invented. But instead of fuelling innovation and new opportunities, these fears are instead leading to distrust and fractious politics and, down the line, to misguided policies that will only make things worse.   All in all, a vicious circle.

Against this background, the G20 has been less effective in recent times, starting with de-escalating trade tensions and tackling global excess capacities in certain industries.   But perhaps the worst news of all is that the backlash against globalisation and multilateralism has resulted in countries having different readings of the global challenges at stake and less commitment to working together. Climate is a case in point. We all know that the ambition needs to be scaled up, but if we are not reading from the same page it becomes impossible to have common solutions.

In this new reality, it is clear that the G20’s collective ambition to tackle our most pressing challenges is in danger of weakening, just when it is needed most.  If we want this situation to be reversed, we need to continue relying on facts. But we also need to change the traditional growth paradigm and put people at the centre. In a context of increased inequalities, we need to look towards equity and sustainability. We cannot continue just relying on GDP and GDP per capita as the only metric to measure success. These traditional measures are part of the story but not the whole, as our OECD wellbeing measures, inclusive growth and taxation work show. Fairness and equity are not the concepts favoured by more orthodox schools of economics over the past 30 years. But in this new world, this is what more equitable, inclusive, sustainable economies need to look like.

For business, there is a key role to play here in tacking inequalities. This is the reason why, at the OECD, we are building the Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Initiative to bring governments, business and investors around a common agenda for inclusive growth, and I call on all of those here today to join these efforts. This is also the reason why we are still working to ensure full G20 country adhesion to or endorsement for our instruments and tools (such as the OECD’s MNE guidelines) that help to ensure a level playing field for business, promote responsible business conduct, and fight corruption – and due to the G20’s current lack of unity we are still not there.

Where to next for the G20? At the end of this month, leaders will meet in Osaka, with a fresh opportunity to prove what collective action can achieve where there is co-operation not confrontation and some good political will. Much is at stake. Let’s hope they succeed.


[1] OECD Economic Outlook (May 2019)

Financial Alliance for Women Summit: Session on Building Female-Friendly Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

On 18 June 2019 I participated in the “Session on Building Female-Friendly Entrepreneurial Ecosystems” at the 2019 Financial Alliance for Women Summit in Paris, France. Moderated by Paul Jenkins, Senior Partner, Head of Digital for McKinsey in Western Europe. Panelists: Ulrike Decoene, Chief Communications Officer, AXA; Laila Page, Chief of Staff, Commercial and Private Banking, NatWest/RBS.

Key highlights from my intervention:

  • In 2015, women were half as likely as men in the EU to be self-employed (9.9% vs. 17.8%).
  • The gender gap in entrepreneurial activities has changed very little in most countries since 2012.
  • Self-employed women earned two-thirds the income of self-employed men. In US the earnings gender gap in self-employment is 58%
  • Male entrepreneurs in OECD are more than twice as likely as women to have employees.
  • Recent estimates suggest that if the entrepreneurship gender gap were eliminated, global GDP could rise by as much as 2%, or USD 1.5 trillion.
  • Gender stereotypes see entrepreneurship as “masculine”, associated with male characteristics like courage, ambition & risk. OECD ABC of Gender Equality found that girls in same-sex schools took more risks in schoolwork.
  • Women lack confidence: only one-third of women indicate that they have sufficient skills to start a business, compared to half of men.
  • Stereotypes affect  sector choice & earnings (health + beauty vs. construction + transport).
  • Gender gaps in STEM also relevant: In OECD countries fewer than 1 in 5 computer science graduates are girls.
  • To increase share of women entrepreneurs, role-modeling & mentorship is key.
  • Ireland’s Going for Growth provides peer-to-peer mentoring for business development. Participants hired an additional 146 employees.
  • Other examples of mentorship are France’s Plan Entreprenariat des femmes, Germany’s FRAUEN Unternehmen or regional initiatives like Canada’s Alberta Grow to Greatness Excelerator Program.
  • Canada’s Business Women in Intl. Trade (BWIT) helps women-led business access international markets through business-to-business meetings and matchmaking opportunities.
  • Government programmes help access finance.
  • In developing & emerging countries, government programmes in Morocco, India and Malaysia help with credit guarantees covering 70-80% of loan.
  • Some countries offer women-specific measures in procurement markets, e.g. US and Korea, but also South Africa & Indonesia started set-asides.
  • Some venture capital Funds are also investing in women-led companies. The BDC Capital Women in Technology Fund (Canada) has committed to investing $200 million over the next five years.
  • OECD is leading the way with better data and analysis: we have 2013 Recommendation on Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship & The Missing Entrepreneurs.
  • We recently launched Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) Initiative to strengthen evidence by collecting gender-disaggregated internationally comparable data on SME access to finance.
  • WE Initiative is also looking at specific issues (data and analysis) of women tech entrepreneurs.
  • OECD work (like PISA, early childhood, and work on masculinities) is tackling stereotypes around entrepreneurship & risk-taking.