Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap or gender wage gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working. Women are generally paid less than men. There are two distinct numbers regarding the pay gap: unadjusted versus adjusted pay gap. The latter takes into account differences in hours worked, occupations chosen, education and job experience. For example, someone who takes time off (e.g. maternity leave) will likely not earn as much as someone who does not take time off from work. Factors like this contribute to lower yearly earnings for women; while the pay gap has narrowed over time, a gender pay gap still exists, even when controlling for these external factors.[1][2] Unadjusted pay gaps are much higher. In the United States, for example the unadjusted average female's annual salary has commonly been cited as being 78% of the average male salary, compared to 88-93% for the adjusted average salary for college graduates.[3][4]

The reasons for lower pay include both individual choice and other innate and external factors. An example of a voluntary choice is choosing to work part-time when full-time employment is available. An example of an involuntary choice is working a low-skill job because of an inability to access higher education. An example of an external factor is discrimination.

The gender pay gap can be a problem from a public policy perspective even when the reason for the gap is entirely voluntary, because it reduces economic output and means that women are more likely to be dependent upon welfare payments, especially in old age.

Historical perspective

A 2005 meta-analysis by Doris Weichselbaumer and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer of more than 260 published pay gap studies for over 60 countries found that, from the 1960s to the 1990s, raw wage differentials worldwide have fallen substantially from around 65% to 30%. The bulk of this decline, was due to better labor market endowments of women (i.e. better education, training, and work attachment).[5]

Another meta-analysis of 41 empirical studies on the wage gap performed in 1998 found a similar time trend in estimated pay gaps, a decrease of roughly 1% per year.[6]

A 2011 study by the British CMI revealed that if pay growth continues for female executives at current rates, the gap between the earnings of female and male executives would not be closed until 2109.[7]


The gender pay gap, or gender wage gap is the median or mean average difference between the remuneration for all working men and women in the sample chosen. It is typically represented as either a percentage or a ratio of the "difference between average gross hourly [or annual] earnings of male and female employees as % of male gross earnings".[8]

National gender gap gaps typically refer to the entire working population [9][8][10][11][12][13]

Non-governmental organizations apply the calculation to various samples. For example, the gender pay gap by ethnicity,[14] within a single organization [15][16] or within organization to compare men and women on the same pay grade.[17]


The reasons for lower pay include both individual choice and other innate, and external environmental factors.

An example of a voluntary choice is choosing to work part-time when full-time employment is available. An example of an involuntary choice is working a low-skill job because of an inability to access higher education. An example of an external factor is discrimination.

Both gender-specific factors, including gender differences in qualifications and discrimination, and overall wage structure, the rewards for skills and employment in particular sectors, importantly influence the gender pay gap.[18]


Claims that women are "less willing" and having "less ability" to negotiate salaries and battle sexual discrimination[19][20][1] are often attributed to being the cause of 25% to 40% of the unadjusted wage gap.

The European Commission divides discrimination, as it impacts the EU wage gap, into several categories. While direct discrimination, when a woman is paid less than a man for the same job, is relatively rare due to strong EU laws against it, a more persistent problem is the undervaluing of women's work, with women being paid less for a job of equal value due to careers dominated by women being undervalued as a whole.[21][22]

Industry sector

Occupational segregation [23] or horizontal segregation[24] refers to inequality in pay associated with occupational earnings.
Men are more likely to be in relatively high-paying, dangerous industries such as mining, construction, or manufacturing and to be represented by a union. Women, in contrast, are more likely to be in clerical jobs and to work in the service industry.
A study of the US labor force in the 1990s suggested that these factors explain an estimated 53% of the wage gap.[1] A 2017 study in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics found that the growing importance of the services sector has played a role in reducing the gender gap in pay and hours.[25] In 1998, adjusting for both differences in human capital and in industry, occupation, and unionism increases the size of American women's average earnings from 80% of American men's to 91%.[26]


Studies have shown that an increasing share of the gender pay gap over time is due to children.[27][28] The phenomenon of lower wages due to childbearing has been termed the motherhood penalty.

Motherhood can affect job choices as well. In a traditional role, women are the ones who leave the workforce temporarily to take care of their children. As a result, women tend to take lower paying jobs because they are more likely to have more flexible timings compared to higher-paying jobs. Since women are more likely to work fewer hours than men, they have less experience,[29] which will cause women to be behind in the work force.

Gender roles

Another social factor, which is related to the aforementioned one, is the socialization of individuals to adopt specific gender roles.[30][31] Job choices influenced by socialization are often slotted in to "demand-side" decisions in frameworks of wage discrimination,[32] rather than a result of extant labor market discrimination influencing job choice.[33] Men that are in non-traditional job roles or jobs that are primarily seen as a women-focused jobs, such as nursing, have high enough job satisfaction that motivates the men to continue in these job fields despite criticism they may receive.[34]

Additionally, in the eyes of employees, women in middle management are perceived to lack the courage, leadership, and drive that male managers appear to have, despite female middle managers achieving results on par with their male counterparts in terms of successful projects and achieving results for their employing companies.[35] These perceptions, along with the factors previously described in the article, contribute to the difficulty of women to ascend to the executive ranks when compared to men in similar positions.[36]

Societal ideas of gender roles stem somewhat from media influences.[37] Media portrays ideals of gender-specific roles off of which gender stereotypes are built.[38] These stereotypes then translate to what types of work men and women can or should do.[37] Some common stereotypes include the ideas that managers should be males or that pregnant women are a loss for the company after giving birth.[39] In this way, gender plays a mediating role in work discrimination, and women find themselves in positions that do not allow for the same advancements as males.[37]

Some research suggests that women are more likely to volunteer for tasks that are less likely to help earn promotions,and that they are more likely to be asked to volunteer and more likely to say yes to such requests.[40]


The gender pay gap can be a problem from a public policy perspective because it reduces economic output and means that women are more likely to be dependent upon welfare payments, especially in old age.

For economic activity

A 2009 report for the Australian Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs argued that in addition to fairness and equity there are also strong economic imperatives for addressing the gender wage gap. The researchers estimated that a decrease in the gender wage gap from 17% to 16% would increase GDP per capita by approximately $260, mostly from an increase in the hours females would work. Ignoring opposing factors as hours females work increase, eliminating the whole gender wage gap from 17% could be worth around $93 billion or 8.5% of GDP. The researchers estimated the causes of the wage gap as follows, lack of work experience was 7%, lack of formal training was 5%, occupational segregation was 25%, working at smaller firms was 3%, and being female represented the remaining 60%.[41]

An October 2012 study by the American Association of University Women found that over the course of 47 years, an American woman with a college degree will make about $1.2 million less than a man with the same education.[42] Therefore, closing the pay gap by raising women's wages would have a stimulus effect that would grow the United States economy by at least 3% to 4%.[43]

For women's pensions

The European Commission argues that the gender pay gap has far-reaching effects, especially in regard to pensions. Since women's earnings over a lifetime are on average 17.5% (as of 2008) lower than men's, these lower earnings result in lower pensions. As a result, elderly women are more likely to face poverty: 22% of women aged 65 and over are at risk of poverty compared to 16% of men.[44]

Economic theories

Neoclassical models

In certain neoclassical models, discrimination by employers can be inefficient; excluding or limiting employment of a specific group will raise the wages of groups not facing discrimination. Other firms could then gain a competitive advantage by hiring more workers from the group facing discrimination. As a result, in the long run discrimination would not occur. However, this view depends on strong assumptions about the labor market and the production functions of the firms attempting to discriminate.[45] Firms which discriminate on the basis of real or perceived customer or employee preferences would also not necessarily see discrimination disappear in the long run even under stylized models.[46]

Monopsony explanation

In monopsony theory, wage discrimination can be explained by variations in labor mobility constraints between workers. Ransom and Oaxaca (2005) show that women appear to be less pay sensitive than men, and therefore employers take advantage of this and discriminate in their pay for women workers.[47]

Policy measures

Anti-discrimination legislation

According to the 2008 edition of the Employment Outlook report by the OECD, almost all OECD countries have established laws to combat discrimination on grounds of gender. Examples of this are the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[48] Legal prohibition of discriminatory behavior, however, can only be effective if it is enforced. The OECD points out that:

"herein lies a major problem: in all OECD countries, enforcement essentially relies on the victims' willingness to assert their claims. But many people are not even aware of their legal rights regarding discrimination in the workplace. And even if they are, proving a discrimination claim is intrinsically difficult for the claimant and legal action in courts is a costly process, whose benefits down the road are often small and uncertain. All this discourages victims from lodging complaints."[49]

Moreover, although many OECD countries have put in place specialized anti-discrimination agencies, only in a few of them are these agencies effectively empowered, in the absence of individual complaints, to investigate companies, take actions against employers suspected of operating discriminatory practices, and sanction them when they find evidence of discrimination.[49][50]

In 2003, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that women in the United States, on average, earned 80% of what men earned in 2000 and workplace discrimination may be one contributing factor. In light of these findings, GAO examined the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in the private and public sectors. In a 2008 report, GAO focused on the enforcement and outreach efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (Labor). GAO found that EEOC does not fully monitor gender pay enforcement efforts and that Labor does not monitor enforcement trends and performance outcomes regarding gender pay or other specific areas of discrimination. GAO came to the conclusion that "federal agencies should better monitor their performance in enforcing anti-discrimination laws."[51][52]

In 2016, the EEOC proposed a rule to submit more information on employee wages by gender to better monitor and combat gender discrimination.[53] In 2018, Iceland enacted legislation to reduce the country's pay gap.[54]

Awareness campaigns

Civil society groups organize awareness campaigns that include activities such as the Equal Pay Day or the Equal pay for equal work to increase the public attention received by the gender pay gap. For the same reason, various groups publish regular reports on the current state of gender pay differences. An example is the Global Gender Gap Report.

Job flexibility

The growth of the "gig" economy generates worker flexibility that, some have speculated, will favor women. However, the analysis of earnings among more than one million Uber drivers in the United States surprisingly showed that the gender pay gap between drivers is about 7% in favor of men. Uber's algorithm does not distinguish the gender of its workers, but men get more income because they choose better when and in which areas to work, and cancel and accept trips in a more lucrative way. Finally, men drive 2.2% faster than women, which also allows them to increase their income per unit of time.[55][56][57] The study concludes the "gig" economy can perpetuate the gender pay gap even in the absence of discrimination.[55][56][57]

By country


This is a list of unadjusted pay gaps (median earnings of full-time employees) according to the OECD (2008).[58]

CountryGender gap
Czech Republic16.462013
New Zealand6.082014
United Kingdom16.932015
United States18.882015

Moreover, the World Economic Forum provides data from 2015 that evaluates the gender pay gap in 145 countries. Their evaluations take into account economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment scores.[59]


In Australia, the gender pay gap is calculated on the average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time employees published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The gender pay gap excludes part-time, casual earnings and overtime payments.[60]

Australia has a persistent gender pay gap. Between 1990 and 2009, the gender pay gap remained within a narrow range of between 15 and 17%.[41] In August 2010, the Australian gender pay gap was 16.9%.[61]

Ian Watson of Macquarie University examined the gender pay gap among full-time managers in Australia over the period 2001–2008, and found that between 65 and 90% of this earnings differential could not be explained by a large range of demographic and labor market variables. In fact, a "major part of the earnings gap is simply due to women managers being female". Watson also notes that despite the "characteristics of male and female managers being remarkably similar, their earnings are very different, suggesting that discrimination plays an important role in this outcome".[62] A 2009 report to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs also found that "simply being a woman is the major contributing factor to the gap in Australia, accounting for 60 per cent of the difference between women's and men's earnings, a finding which reflects other Australian research in this area". The second most important factor in explaining the pay gap was industrial segregation.[41] A report by the World Bank also found that women in Australia who worked part-time jobs and were married came from households which had a gendered distribution of labor, possessed high job satisfaction, and hence were not motivated to increase their working hours.[63]


The Global Gender Gap Report ranks Brazil at 90 out of 144 countries on pay equality for like jobs. The World Economic Forum, that created this report, takes into consideration economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. It gives a score of 0.684 (1.00 being equality) to Brazil, which is a little below 2017's global index. Within the Latin American and the Caribbean, Brazil is only ahead of Paraguay and Guatemala in the ranking index. In 2017, Brazil was one of the 6 countries that fully closed their gaps on both the Health and Survival and Educational Attainment subindexes. However, Brazil saw a setback in the progress towards gender parity this year, with its overall gender gap standing at its widest point since 2011. This is due to an enlargement of Brazil's Political Empowerment gender gap, which measures the ratio of females with seats in the parliament and at ministerial level, that is too large to be counterbalanced by a range of modest improvements across the country's Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex.[64]

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, women in Brazil study more, work more and earn less than men. On average, combining paid work, household chores and caring for people, women work three hours a week more than men. In fact, the average women work 54.4 hours a week, and the average man only 51.4. Despite that, even with a higher educational level, women earn, on average, less than men do. Although the difference between men's and women's earnings has declined in recent years, in 2016 women still received the equivalent of 76.5% of men's earnings. One of the factors that may explain this difference is that only 37.8% of management positions in 2016 were held by women. Finally, according to IBGE, occupational segregation and the wage discrimination of women in the labor market also have an important role in the wage difference between men and women.[65]

According to data from the Continuous National Household Sample Survey, done by IBGE on the fourth quarter of 2017, 24.3% of the 40.2 million Brazilian workers had completed college, but this proportion was of 14.6% among employed men. As reported by the same survey, women who work earn 24.4% less, on average, than men. It also cited that 6.0% of working men were employers, while the proportion of women employers was only 3.3%. The survey also pointed out that 92.3% of domestic workers, a job culturally known as "feminine" and that pays low wages, are women. While high paying occupations like civil construction employed 13% of the employed men and only 0.5% of the employed women.[66] Other reason that might explain the gender wage gap in Brazil are the very strict labor regulations that increase informal hiring. In Brazil, under law, female workers may opt to take 6 months of maternity leave that must be fully paid by the employer. Many researches are concerned with this regulations. They question if these regulations may actually force workers into informal jobs, where they will have no rights at all. In fact, women who work on informal jobs earn only 50% of the average women in formal jobs. Between men the difference is less radical: men working on informal jobs earn 60% of the average men in formal jobs.[67]


A study of wages among Canadian supply chain managers found that men make an average of $14,296 a year more than women.[68] The research suggests that as supply chain managers move up the corporate ladder, they are less likely to be female.

Women in Canada are more likely to seek employment opportunities which greatly contrast the ones of men. About 20 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 54 will make just under $12 an hour in Canada. The demographic of women who take jobs paying less than $12 an hour is also a proportion that is twice as large as the proportion of men taking on the same type of low-wage work. There still remains the question of why such a trend seems to resonate throughout the developed world. One identified societal factor that has been identified is the influx of women of color and immigrants into the work force. These groups both tend to be subject to lower paying jobs from a statistical perspective.[69]

Each province and territory in Canada has a quasi-constitutional human rights code which prohibits discrimination based on sex. Several also have laws specifically prohibiting public sector and private sector employers from paying men and women differing amounts for substantially similar work. Verbatim, the Alberta Human Rights Act states in regards to equal pay, "Where employees of both sexes perform the same or substantially similar work for an employer in an establishment the employer shall pay the employees at the same rate of pay."[70]


Using the gaps between men and women in economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment, The Global Gender Gap Report 2015 ranks China's gender gap at 91 out of 145 countries (the lower the ranking, the narrower the gender gap), which is four rankings below 2014's global index. China's 2015 gender gap score was 0.681 (1.00 being equality). As an upper middle income country, as classified by the World Bank, China is the "third-least improved country in the world" on the gender gap. The health and survival subindex is the lowest within the countries listed; this subindex takes into account the gender differences of life expectancy and sex ratio at birth (the ratio of male to female children to depict the preferences of sons in accordance with China's One Child Policy).[71]:4,26 In particular, Jayoung Yoon, a researcher, claims the women's employment rate is decreasing. However, several of the contributing factors might be expected to increase women's participation. Yoon's contributing factors include: the traditional gender roles; the lack of childcare services provided by the state; the obstacle of childrearing; and the highly educated, unmarried women termed "leftover women" by the state. The term "leftover women" produces anxieties for women to rush marriage, delaying employment. In alignment with the traditional gender roles, the "Women Return to the Home" movement by the government encouraged women to leave their jobs to alleviate the men's unemployment rate.[72]

Dominican Republic

Dominican women, who are 52.2% of the labor force, earns an average of 20,479 Dominican pesos, 2.6% more than Dominican men's average income of 19,961 pesos.[73] The Global Gender Gap ranking, found by compiling economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment scores, in 2009 it was 67th out of 134 countries representing 90% of the globe, and its ranking has dropped to 86th out of 145 countries in 2015. More women are in ministerial offices, improving the political empowerment score, but women are not receiving equal pay for similar jobs, preserving the low economic participation and opportunity scores.[74][71]:15–17, 23

European Union

At EU level, the gender pay gap is defined as the relative difference in the average gross hourly earnings of women and men within the economy as a whole. Eurostat found a persisting gender pay gap of 17.5% on average in the 27 EU Member States in 2008. There were considerable differences between the Member States, with the unadjusted pay gap ranging from less than 10% in Italy, Slovenia, Malta, Romania, Belgium, Portugal, and Poland to more than 20% in Slovakia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Germany, United Kingdom, and Greece and more than 25% in Estonia and Austria.[2] However, taking into account the hours worked in Finland, men there only earned 0.4% more in net income than women.[75][76]

A recent survey of international employment law firms showed that gender pay gap reporting is not a common policy internationally. Despite such laws on a national level being few and far between, there are calls for regulation on an EU level. A recent (as of December 2015) resolution of the European Parliament urged the Commission to table legislation closing the pay gap. A proposal that is substantively the same as the UK plan was passed by 344 votes to 156 in the European Parliament.[77]

The European Commission has stated that the undervaluation of female work is one of the main contributors to the persisting gender pay gap.[78]


Women earn 22–23% less than men, according to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. The revised gender pay gap was 6–8% in the years 2006–2013.[79] The Cologne Institute for Economic Research adjusted the wage gap to less than 2%. They reduced the gender pay gap from 25% to 11% by taking in account the work hours, education and the period of employment. The difference in revenue was reduced furthermore if women hadn't paused their job for more than 18 months due to motherhood.[80][81]

The most significant factors associated with the remaining gender pay gap are part-time work, education and occupational segregation (less women in leading positions and in fields like STEM).[82]


In the Netherlands, recent numbers from the CBS (Centraal Bureau voor statistieken; English: Central Bureau of Statistics) claim that the pay gap is getting smaller. Adjusted for occupation level, education level, experience level, and 17 other variables the difference in earnings in businesses has fallen from 9% (2008) to 7% (2014) and in government from 7% (2008) to 5% (2014). Without adjustments the gap is for businesses 20% (2014) and government 10% (2014). Young women earn more than men up until the age of 30, this is mostly due to a higher level of education. Women in the Netherlands, up until the age of 30, have a higher educational level on average than men; after this age men have on average a higher educational degree. The chance can also be caused by women getting pregnant and start taking part-time jobs so they can care for the children.[83]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the aggregate gender pay gap has been on the decline, and even reversed for certain age groups. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, women aged 22–29 earned ₤1,111 more per year than men of the same age (between 2006 and 2013).[84] As of 2012, the gap officially dropped below 10% for full-time workers.[85][86] The aggregate gender pay gap can also be viewed as a generational sliding scale. Females between the ages of 55–65 have the largest disparity (18%), while females between the ages of 25–35 have the smallest disparity (6%).[87]

In the UK, the most significant factors associated with the gender pay gap are part-time work, education, the size of the firm a person is employed in, and occupational segregation (women are under-represented in managerial and high-paying professional occupations).[88] When comparing full-time roles, men in the UK tend to work longer hours than women in full-time employment. Depending on the age bracket and percentile of hours worked men in full-time employment work between 1.35% and 17.94% more hours than women in full-time employment.[89] When comparing part-time roles women out-earn men by 6.5% in 2015 (up from 5.5% in 2014).[90]

In October 2014, the Equality Act 2010 was augmented with regulations which require Employment Tribunals to order an employer (except an existing micro-business or a new business) to carry out an equal pay audit where the employer is found to have breached equal pay law.[91]

A 2015 study compiled by the Press Association based on data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that women in their 20s were out-earning men in their 20s by an average of £1,111, showing a reversal of trends. However, the same study showed that men in their 30s out-earned women in their 30s by an average of £8,775. The study did not attempt to explain the causes of the gender gap.[92] The then prime minister David Cameron announced plans to force large firms to disclose data on the gender pay gap among staff.[93]

In April 2018, employers with over 250 employees were legally required to publish data relating to pay inequalities. Data published had to include the pay and bonus figures between men and women, and included data from April 2017.[94][95] A BBC analysis of the figures after the deadline expired showed that more than three-quarters of UK companies pay men more on average than women.[96] Employment barrister Harini Iyengar advocates more flexible working and greater paternity leave to achieve economic and cultural change.[97]


For the year 2013, the gender pay gap in India was estimated to be 24.81%.[98] Further, while analyzing the level of female participation in the economy, a report slots India as one of the bottom 10 countries on its list. Thus, in addition to unequal pay, there is also unequal representation, because while women constitute almost half the Indian population (about 48% of the total), their representation in the work force amounts to only about one-fourth of the total.[99]


Jayoung Yoon analyzes Japan's culture of the traditional male breadwinner model, where the husband works outside of the house while the wife is the caretaker. Despite these traditional gender roles for women, Japan's government aims to enhance the economy by improving the labor policies for mothers with Abenomix (2013), an economy revitalization strategy. Yoon believes Abenomix represents a desire to remedy the effects of an aging population rather than a desire to promote gender equality. Evidence for the conclusion is the finding that women are entering the workforce in contingent positions for a secondary income and a company need of part-time workers based on mechanizing, outsourcing and subcontracting. Therefore, Yoon states that women's participation rates do not seem to be influenced by government policies but by companies' necessities.[72] The Global Gender Gap Report 2015 established that Japan's economic participation and opportunity ranking (106th), 145th being the broadest gender gap, dropped from 2014 "due to lower wage equality for similar work and fewer female legislators, senior officials and managers".[71]:25–27


From a total of 145 states, the World Economic Forum calculates Jordan's gender gap ranking for 2015 as 140th through economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment evaluations. Jordan is the "world's second-least improved country" for the overall gender gap.[71]:25–27 The ranking dropped from 93rd in 2006.[74]:9 In contradiction to Jordan's provisions within its constitution and being signatory to multiple conventions for improving the gender pay gap, there is no legislation aimed at gender equality in the workforce.[100] According to The Global Gender Gap Report 2015, Jordan had a score of 0.61; 1.00 being equality, on pay equality for like jobs.[71]:25, 222


As stated by Jayoung Yoon, South Korea's female employment rate has increased since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis as a result of women 25 to 34 years old leaving the workforce later to become pregnant and women 45 to 49 years old returning to the workforce. Mothers are more likely to continue working after child rearing on account of the availability of affordable childcare services provided for mothers previously in the workforce or the difficulty to be rehired after taking time off to raise their children.[72] The World Economic Forum found that, in 2015, South Korea had a score of 0.55, 1.00 being equality, for pay equality for like jobs. From a total of 145 countries, South Korea had a gender gap ranking of 115th (the lower the ranking, the narrower the gender gap). On the other hand, political empowerment dropped to half of the percentage of women in the government in 2014.[71]:26, 228

North Korea, on the other hand, is one of few countries where women earn more than men. The disparity is due to women's greater participation in the shadow economy of North Korea.[101]

New Zealand

Although recent studies have shown that the gender wage gap in New Zealand has diminished in the last two decades, the gap continues to affect many women today. According to StatsNZ, the wage gap was measured to be 9.4 percent in September 2017. Back in 1998, it was measured to be approximately 16.3 percent. There are several different factors that affect New Zealand's wage gap. However, researchers claim that 80 percent of these factors cannot be elucidated, which often causes difficulty in understanding the gap.[102]

In order to calculate the gap, New Zealand makes use of several different methods. The official gap is calculated by Statistics New Zealand. They use the difference between men and women's hourly revenue. On the other hand, the State Services Commission examine the average income of men and women for their calculation.[102] Over the years, the OECD has and continues to track New Zealand's, along with 34 other countries', gender wage gap. In fact, the overall goal of the OECD is to fix the wage gap so that gender no longer plays a significant role in an individual's income.[103] Although it has been a gradual change, New Zealand is one of the countries that has seen notable progress and researchers have predicted that it will continue to do so.


A wage gap exists in Russia (after 1991, but also before) and statistical analysis shows that most of it cannot be explained by lower qualifications of women compared to men. On the other hand, occupational segregation by gender and labor market discrimination seem to account for a large share of it.[104][105][106][107][108][109]

The October Revolution (1917) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, have shaped the developments in the gender wage gap. These two main turning points in the Russian history frame the analysis of Russia's gender pay gap found in the economic literature. Consequently, the pay gap study can be examined for two periods: the wage gap in Soviet Russia (1917–1991) and the wage gap in the transition and post-transition (after 1991).


According to Jayoung Yoon, Singapore's aging population and low fertility rates are resulting in more women joining the labor force in response to the government's desire to improve the economy. The government provides tax relief to mothers in the workforce to encourage them to continue working. Yoon states that "as female employment increases, the gender gap in employment rates…narrows down" in Singapore.[72] The Global Gender Gap Report 2015 ranks Singapore's gender gap at 54th out of 145 states globally based on the economic participation and opportunity, the educational attainment, the health and survival, and the political empowerment subindexes (a lower rank means a smaller gender gap). The gender gap narrowed from 2014's ranking of 59. In the Asia and Pacific region, Singapore has evolved the most in the economic participation and opportunity subindex, yet it is lower than the region's means in educational attainment and political empowerment.[71]:25–27

United States

In the US the average woman's unadjusted annual salary has been cited as 78%[110] to 82%[111] of that of the average man's. However, after adjusting for choices made by male and female workers in college major, occupation, working hours, and parental leave, multiple studies find that pay rates between males and females varied by 5–6.6% or, females earning 94 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts. The remaining 6% of the gap has been speculated to originate from gender discrimination and a difference in ability and/or willingness to negotiate salaries.[112][113][114]

The extent to which discrimination plays a role in explaining gender wage disparities is somewhat difficult to quantify, due to a number of potentially confounding variables. A 2010 research review by the majority staff of the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee reported that studies have consistently found unexplained pay differences even after controlling for measurable factors that are assumed to influence earnings – suggestive of unknown/unmeasurable contributing factors of which gender discrimination may be one.[115] Other studies have found direct evidence of discrimination – for example, more jobs went to women when the applicant's sex was unknown during the hiring process.[115]

See also

For other wage gaps


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