The International Organization of Employers participated in the International Labor Organization Symposium on Trade and Employment on September 2, which explored the impact of international trade on employment in developing countries. The session on trade and workers’ skills was particularly useful in supporting the Employer position that global supply chains produce better employment outcomes and contribute to gender equality.
Key takeaways for advocacy:
- MNEs play an important role in closing the gender gap through cultural convergence; there is significant evidence from China that foreign firms transfer their corporate culture of employing women to their subsidiaries and that this effect ripples out to local firms
- Gender prejudices contribute to macroeconomic imbalances in many developing countries
- Firms that perpetrate prejudice against women have smaller profits and lower aggregate productivity
- Exporters pay 31 percent higher wages than non-exporting counterparts and are on average 130 percent larger in terms of employee levels
- Contrary to the belief that preferential trade agreements are more advantageous to MNEs, in fact, only a small percentage of large MNEs benefit from such trade liberalisation