Transcript: Global Women’s Summit: Investing in the Care Economy


MS. VARGAS: Hiya, all people. I’m Elizabeth Vargas. I’m a journalist and creator, and I’m very excited to be joined in the present day by Sharon Marcil, who’s head of BCG’s North America Area, guiding greater than 9,000 workers. It’s BCG who simply performed that video we had been simply watching in regards to the care economic system, which is large.

I do know we had an incredible panel slightly bit earlier about caring for particular wants folks. That is in regards to the huge variety of folks on this nation, I am certain on this room, who discover themselves within the place of holding down full‑time jobs, half‑time jobs, perhaps no job, and nonetheless having to look after folks. So, it is an enormous problem.

At the moment on The Washington Submit web site, there’s an article speaking about that, final month, 100,000 People needed to name in sick, missed work, due to childcare points. It is an all‑time excessive, increased even than it was throughout covid and throughout the pandemic.

Sharon, what’s the care economic system, as you name it?

MS. MARCIL: Certainly. Nicely, thanks a lot. It is nice to be right here with you, Elizabeth, and with all of you in the present day.

So, the care economic system, if you concentrate on it, it is actually‑‑there’s two elements of it. One is the paid care economic system. I feel that is what we sometimes consider, folks delivering elder care in nursing houses, in assisted residing services, folks delivering childcare in childcare facilities, and that is huge, as you described. It is a $2 trillion economic system in phrases the paid piece‑‑$2 trillion.

MS. VARGAS: $2 trillion, okay.

MS. MARCIL: $2 trillion. And that is not the grey economic system. That is really the‑‑that’s the reported quantity by way of the economic system. There’s additionally an unpaid portion of it. So, if you concentrate on it, many people, your self‑‑we have mentioned this‑‑you have got been caregivers, both for youngsters or for folks or generally on the similar time. That’s one other‑‑if you happen to worth that work, which we worth that work, that is one other $4 trillion. So, the general care economic system, simply within the U.S. alone, $6 trillion with–for kids, $4 trillion being within the unpaid portion of the economic system.

MS. VARGAS: It is fascinating that it is really the unpaid caregivers, the people who find themselves caring for their youngsters, the people who find themselves caring for their dad and mom even, as a result of we all know that with the infant boomers, we’ve this era of people who find themselves sandwiched between the 2 duties. That may be a huger, a much bigger portion‑‑

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑of the care economic system than the paid sector, which is nannies, nurses, residence care attendants, daycare facilities, that form of factor.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper. That is precisely proper. Two‑thirds. It is two‑thirds, the unpaid portion.

MS. VARGAS: And so, what are the economics of this, and why are they getting a lot worse? And why are we seeing numbers like that so far as an affect on the GDP?

MS. MARCIL: That is an incredible query. So, you concentrate on care and you concentrate on it being a social problem, and it’s utterly a social problem, however it’s a core financial problem.

So, let me simply briefly describe that. In case you have a look at unfilled vacant jobs in the present day within the U.S., the quantity is 11 million‑‑11 million unfilled jobs. In case you have a look at the care economic system, 1.8 million jobs are unfilled. There’s interrelatedness by way of these two numbers, okay? So many people rely on paid caregivers to look after our dad and mom, our youngsters, or no matter that’s, and so there’s‑‑when you do not have sufficient folks within the care economic system, you do not have folks to‑‑so there‑‑there’s an‑‑

MS. VARGAS: You possibly can’t delegate.

MS. MARCIL: You possibly can’t delegate. You possibly can’t delegate.

And so, let me simply body that up by way of provide and demand. So, if you happen to have a look at the availability facet, I will quote one statistic: Since covid, one‑third of childcare services have both had a shutdown or have needed to minimize their care by 50 % or extra, as a result of they can not discover sufficient certified employees.

MS. VARGAS: What’s taking place? Are folks simply quitting or‑‑

MS. MARCIL: Nicely, a lot has been stated in regards to the Nice Resignation, Elizabeth, however the reality is the wages are low. It is sometimes regarded as girls’s work, so solely interesting to that section of the economic system. One other core motive is many of those folks really need to care for their very own kids. So, the mix of all these elements implies that the availability is constrained and it is comparatively low.

And on the demand facet, it is growing. So, if you concentrate on the infant‑growth era and the growing old of that era and increasingly folks residing to be 80, 90, which is a superb factor‑‑

MS. MARCIL: ‑‑however in that age sector, you already know, they typically want care. So, there is a demand problem. There’s growing demand, and there is a provide problem, which is constrained provide.

MS. VARGAS: Yeah. We had been speaking about that, as a result of you have got two now‑grown kids who’ve simply left the nest.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: And the nest has been repopulated by your 90‑yr‑outdated dad.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: I am a single mother with two teenage boys, two dad and mom of their 80s, one in every of whom is having some issues with dementia.

MS. VARGAS: So, it requires a substantial amount of care, and this statistic, a mean worker working full‑time spends a mean of 30 hours every week caregiving. That is astonishing.

MS. MARCIL: It is unimaginable. It is unimaginable. That is proper. That is what our analysis‑‑we have completed analysis over a few years, however our most up-to-date research, which is on our web site being launched in the present day, of 12,000 respondents really has that information in it, which is 56 % of employed folks, folks within the job market, are additionally caregivers, and the median variety of hours of care they ship is 30 hours every week. It is unimaginable.

MS. VARGAS: You do have an enormous report out in the present day, which all people can learn if they want. It’s referred to as‑‑you’ll be able to go to However discuss what the economics are that you simply uncover on this report. What’s it costing us to have the dwindling provide of caregivers and the demand is not less than fixed or rising?

MS. VARGAS: It is by no means going to shrink.

MS. MARCIL: Sure. We forecast that in 2030, the associated fee to the U.S. economic system can be $290 billion. So, there is a value in the present day by way of jobs that are not stuffed after which additionally individuals who cannot get again within the workforce. The price in the present day, you quick ahead, there’s going to be a $290 billion hole, and to dimensional‑ize that, Elizabeth, that is really the economic system of the State of Connecticut. It is huge.

MS. VARGAS: That is how a lot cash we will lose due to misplaced work, unfilled positions, or individuals who need to resign as a result of any individual’s bought to care for the children or any individual’s bought to be residence‑‑

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑with mother or dad.

MS. MARCIL: That is precisely proper.

MS. VARGAS: And I can not discover anyone who will do it.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: That is extraordinary.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: Okay. So, the opposite statistic that I used to be struck by out of your report, for each 10 unfilled care positions, one full‑time employee should surrender his or her job.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: So, there’s precise information‑‑

MS. MARCIL: Knowledge. That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑for what that is translating to‑‑

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑by way of misplaced workforce.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper. And we have completed analysis. For everybody who loses paid care, they lose it as a result of their daycare heart shuts down or it not turns into reasonably priced. One in 10 workers even have to simply absolutely take away themselves from the workforce.

MS. VARGAS: Though they may not need to, regardless that they may‑‑

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑want that job, as most individuals do.

MS. MARCIL: Completely. Completely. And we’ve each the quantitative analysis after which a set of very compelling tales of people that have needed to make these exhausting choices to depart jobs that they love and that really are contributing to them and to their households and to the economic system, however they’ve needed to go away. They simply had been offered with no different alternative.

MS. VARGAS: And 80 % of these employees who need to drop out of the workforce due to the care economic system and being unable to seek out folks to look after‑‑girls.

MS. MARCIL: Eighty % of those that drop out of the workforce are‑‑

MS. VARGAS: So, it is disproportionately on our shoulders.

MS. MARCIL: Sure, it’s, certainly.

MS. VARGAS: Okay. Let’s get to what may be completed about all this, as a result of we’ve the personal sector and we’ve the general public sector.

MS. VARGAS: And let’s begin with the personal sector‑‑

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑as a result of in some ways, that is the simpler answer.

MS. MARCIL: Yeah. I feel, in some methods, it’s. So, look, at BCG, we’ve an incredible tradition. We imagine in offering care advantages as a result of‑‑

MS. VARGAS: You have got an incredible maternity go away coverage.

MS. MARCIL: And you already know what, Elizabeth? It is good enterprise. The reality is, it is good enterprise.

So, I’ve benefited caring for my father, caring for my two ladies, and we’ve many, many workers. Fifty‑six % of our workers in North America have, sooner or later, benefited from these insurance policies, and it is good enterprise as a result of it really drives retention. So, it is not nearly recruitment. It drives retention. It really encourages recruitment and loyalty. It really drives loyalty as effectively. So, there is a good motive, aside from altruism, for the personal sector to do it.

MS. VARGAS: However why have not extra firms adopted that, that signal? I did a primary‑time particular for ABC Information 16 years in the past after the delivery of my youngest little one about working moms, and we interviewed consultants who stated precisely what you simply stated‑‑

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑which is that by giving moms, particularly working mothers, beneficiant go away insurance policies, versatile work schedules, all these‑‑

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑they’re rewarded ten occasions.

MS. MARCIL: Sure, they’re.

MS. VARGAS: Prefer it’s paid again in dividends with worker‑‑you already know, exhausting work, loyalty. They’re going to actually‑‑it is unimaginable. And that is been true and customary data for 15 years.

MS. MARCIL: It has been true for 15 years. There was progress. Really, you noticed type of a giant spike throughout covid of firms providing each maternity go away and paternity go away and household go away, however that is coming down now. You see that quantity coming down.

So, you say why I feel the economics aren’t understood, and that is one‑‑

MS. MARCIL: ‑‑position that BCG can play. Not solely can we do the analysis and the financial analysis and‑‑however we can assist to amplify it and discuss it. And we serve Fortune 200 purchasers. We serve the general public sector. We will present up in these locations and actually share our pondering and our analysis to assist advance this agenda.

However you requested me what the personal sector can do. We discovered about hybrid throughout covid. Pre‑covid, I barely labored from residence. I used to be on the shopper web site. I used to be within the workplace. We discovered throughout covid, wow, we may be fairly productive at residence as effectively. And so, I feel hybrid work and permitting your workers flexibility to work each within the‑‑and outdoors of the workplace is factor one. Paid go away, I feel, is factor two. I feel factor three is having some form of possibility to really fund, you already know, care; so, eager about childcare, on on‑web site childcare, or some form of profit by way of childcare. After which, the very last thing you are able to do is I feel you’ll be able to encourage your public‑sector leaders to lean in on this.

MS. VARGAS: Okay. You walked proper into the general public sector. Let’s hear it.

MS. VARGAS: Given we’re in Washington, D.C., with our newly divided Congress, what can the general public sector do?

MS. MARCIL: We’re the one developed nation on the earth that does not have some form of paid maternity go away. Now, we do have it in some states. So, I do not‑‑and we actually have it provided by some nice firms, however it’s not on the federal degree, as you already know. And I feel‑‑I feel that is factor one. I feel factor two is‑‑and it is sophisticated however serving to to assist increased wages. In case you have a look at the wages, it is exhausting work. this. It is exhausting work to care for aged folks, and the wages, whereas typically, largely typically increased than minimal wage, aren’t that a lot increased than minimal wage.

MS. VARGAS: You advised me it may very well be solely like two or three {dollars} greater than minimal wage.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: These are the folks we’re hoping will maintain my father from burning the home down‑‑

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑or, you already know, ensuring he takes that medicine when he’s speculated to.

MS. MARCIL: That is proper.

MS. VARGAS: These are crucial, vital jobs.

MS. MARCIL: Critically vital, excessive expert, and if you happen to examine it to the retail sector or to the lodge sector, generally these jobs are extra enticing than care.

MS. VARGAS: We have been listening to, although, that that is what we have to do as a rustic for a very long time. What are your‑‑what’s your optimism degree that that can, actually, occur?

MS. MARCIL: I am optimistic. I actually‑‑I feel in some methods, it is not that arduous. When it comes to transferring the needle‑‑and I will discuss in regards to the personal sector versus the general public sector. I feel when the economics and the loyalty advantages and really the prices are higher understood, I feel we can assist firms to maneuver the needle. I feel there’s actual alternative there, and they are going to need to.

I imply, the workforce, the proficient workforce goes to be constrained. We’re not changing ourselves by way of the variety of kids we’re having. And so, I feel firms to draw and retain one of the best persons are going to need to get higher. I feel after they perceive the return on funding, even higher, extra quantified, I feel we’ll get there. I feel we’ll get there.

MS. VARGAS: There was an actual hope for some time there pre‑pandemic that the personal sector was going to steer by instance when it got here to the general public sector, that we had been seeing a rise within the variety of firms offering paid go away.

MS. VARGAS: Why is that happening? Is that due to the financial constraints proper now? Is that due to the gig economic system the place increasingly persons are employed form of partly‑time jobs with out advantages? Like, what is the motive behind this? And since it is the unsuitable means. We’re trending the unsuitable means.

MS. MARCIL: It is the unsuitable means.

, I get a way after I discuss to varied CEOs, they’re attempting to determine how issues are going to play out by way of the economic system and by way of the workforce, what % are going to be hybrid, what % are going to be absolutely distant. I feel they’re attempting‑‑in lots of sectors which have been disrupted by inflation and by provide chain points, they’re attempting to determine what they’re doing subsequent. And so, I feel there’s an inflection level, and we have gone, Elizabeth, a bit backwards, however I feel there’s an actual alternative to go for it. I actually do. I actually firmly imagine that.

MS. VARGAS: Nicely, you have bought your work minimize out for you. You have to persuade all people on the market that that is of their greatest pursuits.

MS. VARGAS: Sharon Marcil, thanks a lot‑‑

MS. VARGAS: ‑‑for speaking in regards to the care economic system.

MS. VARGAS: As soon as once more, you’ll be able to see the BCG report. Go to the BCG web site and skim all of it there. It is actually vital. It impacts in all probability each single individual on this room. So, thanks a lot.

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