Gender inclusive competition policy


The fight for gender equality is one of the defining challenges of our age.

While progress has been made in many areas, the relationship between gender and competition policy remains largely unexplored.

Competition policy usually thinks in terms of consumers and firms, government and regulators.

Traditionally, consumers have been considered only by their willingness to pay, their (rational) preferences, their ability to substitute between products offered by firms.

Meanwhile, firms are treated as entities that are defined by the profit-maximising objectives of their owners, and only rarely seen as collections of people.

Competition policy is therefore largely gender blind and prides itself on its objectivity. 

However, in 2018, the OECD began to explore whether a gender lens might in fact help deliver a more effective competition policy by identifying additional relevant features of the market, and of the behaviour of consumers and firms, as well as whether a more effective competition policy can help address gender inequality.

The OECD Gender Inclusive Competition Policy project has been launched with the support of the Canadian Government and in particular the Canadian Competition Bureau to develop guidance for competition agencies in this area. 

gender inclusive competition policy visual 2

Developing evidence in gender inclusive competition policy

What changes can competition agencies and policy makers make in order to build a gender inclusive competition policy? The OECD has now selected seven projects that will generate new evidence to inform the debate and help develop guidance on how to develop a more gender inclusive competition policy. The research will feed into the OECD's development of a practical toolkit for the Canadian Competition Bureau and other competition authorities who are interested in building a gender inclusive competition policy.

An online workshop on Gender Inclusive Competition Policy took place on 25 February 2021, a briefing meeting on 30 March 2021 and on 7 October 2021, all seven selected projects were presented during an online conference open to all.


Learn more about the seven selected projects 


Learn about the other proposals not selected for this project


Download the call for proposals

Project timeline

1 Oct 2020 - Deadline for submitting responses to the call for proposals

Feb 2021 - Open workshop to discuss proposals received

May 2021 - Deadline for submission of selected expert research papers

Oct 2021 - A virtual public event presented the seven research papers

Q3 2021 onwards - Development of a toolkit or guidance for Canadian and any other interested competition authorities

Final research papers

Seven projects were selected to generate new evidence and inform the debate on how to develop a more gender inclusive competition policy. Read the final research papers submitted by the different project teams that were presented on 7 October 2021 during our online public event.

Paper #1 Gender differences in surveys for market definition and merger analysis l Presentation with key findings
by Oxera 

Paper #2 Gender considerations in the analysis of market definition and competitive effects: A practical framework and illustrative example l Presentation with key findings
by L. Pinheiro, A.C. Faye, M. Ginn, J.Y. Lehmann and J. Posch

Paper #3 Cartel behaviour and boys’ club dynamics: French cartel practice through a gender lens Presentation with key findings
by C. Abate and A. Brunelle

Paper #4 Gender bias in cartel engagement  l Presentation with key findings
by J.R. Borrell, C.Garcia, J.L. Jimenez and J.M.Ordonez-de-Haro 

Paper #5 Gender and collusion  l Presentation with key findings
by J. Haucap, C. Heldman and H. A. Rau

Paper #6 Prioritising gendered public interest considerations  l Presentation with key findings
by B. Mkatshwa, M. Tshabalala and S. Phala

Paper #7 Incorporating Gender as a Prioritization Principle and Project Selection Criterion in Competition Agencies  l Presentation with key findings
by W. Kovacic


On 7 October 2021, a virtual public conference discussed the seven research papers that aim at developing a more gender inclusive competition policy.

Watch the VOD


Read the papers


View the agenda


LinkedIn event



View the agenda

Watch the event on replay


Download the agenda

Watch the workshop on replay


Download the agenda

Watch the workshop on replay

See the presentations of the proposals

Project #1: Gender in Market Analysis: an Ex Post Review of Consumer Survey Evidence 
Project #2: Approaches to Incorporating Gender Considerations into Product Market Definitions and Analysis of Competitive Effects
Project #3: Cartel Behaviour and Boys' Club Dynamics
Project #4: Gender Bias in Cartel Engagement  
Project #5: Gender and Collusion 
Project #6: A Gender-Inclusive Competition Policy: Prioritising Gendered Public Interest Considerations
Project #7: Incorporating Gender as a Prioritization Principle and Project Selection Criterion in Competition Agency Decisionmaking

Watch the full conference (playlist) 

Watch by parts:


Panel 1. Cartels and Collusion

Part 2. Market Definition

Part 3. Prioritisation and Public Interest Approach

Wrap-up and Key Takeaways

Also available:

VOD of  first workshop - February 2021 

VOD of a project briefing meeting - March 2021


Competition and gender links and literature

Shaping the "she-covery": Using gender inclusive competition policy to build back better Link to an external site icon Blog by Chris Pike, OECD on the Level, August 2020

Competition Policy and Gender Link to an external site icon Article by Chris Pike & Estefania Santacreu-Vasut, Concurrences. November 2019

Gender inequality, market distortion and consumer welfare: A call to action for competition authorities Link to an external site icon‌ Article by Sarah Long, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, May 2019

2019 OECD Conference on Gender Equality in Business, Materials and webcast

Gender and competition: 2018 OECD Global Forum on Competition, Session 2, Materials and webcast

Gender, competition policy and the GUDP (Grossly Undervalued Domestic Product) Link to an external site icon‌ Intervention by Sarah Long at the Chillin Competition Conference, November 2018

Competition policy and gender, OECD Background paper on Competition Policy and Gender, by Chris Pike & Estefania Santacreu-Vasut, September 2018

The effects of market power on women and people of color Link to an external site icon by Nell Abernathy, presentation to the Congressional Antitrust Caucus, March 2018

What’s gender got to do with competition policy,‌ Blog by Chris Pike, OECD on the Level, March 2018

How monopolies make gender inequality worse Link to an external site icon‌ Article by Sally Hubbard, Forbes magazine, December 2017




Estefania Santacreu-Vasut and Chris Pike on their joint 2018 background paper




Stay updated!
Join our LinkedIn group to see
shared materials with 
recent work on the topic.


Leila Wright on promising avenues for action and research

Matthew Boswell on steps taken by the Government of Canada to promote gender equality



Webcast of Session 2 of 2018 Global forum on competition 


For more information on this project or the call don't hesitate to write us at or contact

Lynn Robertson

Lynn Robertson





Carolina Abate

Other links

OECD gender data portal

OECD competition home page


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