Equal Pay for Women 118 Years Away
23 November 2015 at 11:45 am
The gender pay gap is closing so slowly that women will not receive pay parity with men for another 118 years, according to the World Economic Forum.
The slow pace of progress in bridging the in economic opportunity between women and men means that women are only now earning the amount men did in 2006, the year that the Global Gender Gap was first produced.
The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report found that while Australia was the third best ranked country in the Asia-Pacific when it came to the pay gap, it was still only the 36th best country globally.
The Philippines, which ranked seventh globally, and New Zealand, were both ranked higher than Australia.
All three countries were identified as “regional outliers”, as no other nation from the region was part of the top 50.
Iceland was ranked as the having the smallest gender pay gap in the world, retaining its spot on top of the list, while Yemen was ranked last.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said for educational attainment the picture was mixed.
Schwab said overall the gender gap now stood at 95 per cent, or 5 per cent away from parity. This is an improvement on the 92 per cent where it stood in 2006.
Worldwide, 25 countries have now closed their gap entirely, with the most progress having been made in university education, where women now make up the majority of students in nearly 100 countries.
But Schwab said progress has not been universal, with 22 per cent of all countries measured continuously over the past 10 years seeing an actual widening of the gap between men and women when it comes to education.
There was also a marked lack of correlation between getting more women in education and their ability to earn a living particularly through skilled or leadership roles. While women made up the majority of enrolled university students in 97 countries, they comprised the majority of skilled roles in only 68, and in far fewer – four countries – did they hold the majority of leadership positions.
“Increased levels of automation ushered in by the Fourth Industrial Revolution are likely to affect not only the economy but also humanity,” Schwab said.
“In this context, we need to create a world where women’s contributions and ideals are as valued as those of men. Gender parity in our thinking and actions will be critical in helping to ensure that the future is served by humanity and not threatened by it.”
Saadia Zahidi, Head of the Global Challenge on Gender Parity at the World Economic Forum, called on governments to take action on the gender pay gap.
“More women than men are enrolled in universities in nearly 100 countries but women hold the majority of senior roles in only a handful of countries,” Zahidi said.
Companies and governments need to implement new policies to prevent this continued loss of talent and instead leverage it for boosting growth and competitiveness.”