Progress towards greater gender equality has been hesitant and halting over the past five years and the Covid-19 pandemic now risks sending it into reverse. Our analysis shows that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs: Women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of overall job losses as of May 2020. At the same time, the burden of unpaid care, which has risen in the pandemic, falls disproportionately on women.This backwards move is not just a blow to women and societal progress but also to the economy and business. If no action is taken to counter the regressive effects, we estimate that global GDP growth could be $1 trillion lower in 2030 than it would be if women’s unemployment simply tracked that of men in each sector. Conversely, taking action now to advance gender equality could add $13 trillion to global GDP in 2030, compared with no action. A middle path — taking action only after the crisis has subsided — would boost the economy but reduce the potential opportunity by more than $5 trillion.