ON AVERAGE women earn 18% less than men, according to analysis by Korn Ferry Hay Group, a consulting firm which looked at more than 8m employees in 33 countries. The pay gap is largely explained by a lack of women in highly paid roles. Women make up 40% of the global workforce for clerical jobs but only 17% of executive roles. However, the pay gap shrinks when comparing males and females working at an identical level and function within the same company (but still favours men by 1.6%).
In Britain, more than four decades after the equal pay act was introduced, the headline difference between men and women’s pay is still high. A pledge made in 2015 by David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister, to “end the gender pay gap in a generation” is an ambitious one. Women only make up around a third of senior management roles there. Workers at the same level but in different companies still face an average pay gap of over 9%.
The United Arab Emirates, on the other hand, has a reverse pay gap. Women at the same level, company and function actually earn 2% more than their male counterparts. This is partly because fewer women participate in the labour force, and those that do tend to have higher levels of education. In 2014 women made up 13% of the labour force; in Britain the share was 46%.