While women in the US are still earning 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, the gender pay gap is a global issue and has large-scale economic and social implications, according to ESG senior analyst at Calvert Research, Erica Lasdon.
Lasdon said overall, European countries led the pack in pay equity, while the US sat just in front of Chile, Japan and Korea. The chart below shows Australia’s position was in the middle-to-rear area, with the wage gap percentage sitting just under 15 per cent.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
One such implication of the wage gap was parental leave, and Lasdon said women in countries where parental leave and child care systems were strong, studies showed having a child correlated very strongly with lower earnings for women, but the same wage effect was not present for men.
And for women of colour, the earnings gap was increasingly wider, with the wage gap between white men and Hispanic women the widest, followed by white men and black women.
Lasdon said reducing gender disparities in the workforce could bring material financial benefits to corporations.
“When we engage with a company on pay-equity bias, we recommend they conduct analyses that identify unequal pay for comparable positions and the overall unadjusted gender pay gap to give two different perspectives into the state of gender equity in their workforces,” she said.