Wage Gaps Between Men and Women
|European Commission waging war on the pay gap|
According to data of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, average median wages for men in OECD countries are 15% higher than those for women. At one end, male median earnings are 20% higher than women in Korea, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and the United States while at the other end, the wage gap is less than 12% in New Zealand, Belgium, Poland, Greece and France. These figures are for full-time employment and do not take into account part-time employment, which is more popular among women. Other factors that might lead to the disparity between male and female wage are discrimination and types of jobs. Many OECD countries have legislation that ensures equal pay, but obviously there is a divide.
The divide becomes even more pronounced when you compare data from low wage earners with high wage earners, the bottom and top 20% of the wage distribution. The gender gap in wages is more pronounced among high wage earners. It is suggested that this is a result of the lack of women in managerial positions.
However, these statistics and this theory has been challenged on a number of respects, principally on account of the fact that it is far too simplified. When considering different regions, fields, ethnicities and age groups the statistics can be dramatically different than the general picture portrayed above. According to the United States of America 2005 Census, while women in their 20s nationwide earned only 89% of their male colleagues earnings, in many major metropolitan regions these same women were earning more than their male counterparts. (For example, in Dallas women in their 20s earn 120% of the salaries of their male counterparts.) Indeed, given that the rate of growth of women's incomes increasingly outpaces that of men's, and that the factors commonly believed to be driving this relative rate increase (higher rates of post-secondary education for women, higher wages for graduates, higher relative wages for women in urban environments, higher levels of urbanisation) are all similarly increasing, the hypothesis has been made that a reversed wage gap is now in its incipient stages in OECD countries.
- Women and Men in OECD Countries
- On the offensive for fair and equal wages (ETUC Campaign)
- Gender Gap
- Map of ratio women to men salary (UNDP data, 2006):
Waging war on the gender pay gap 2008
This film includes interviews with individual workers, employers and experts from Spain and Belgium who speak on the issue of different pay for women and men.
Duration: 3'30" Date: Mar 2008
UNECE Gender Statistics Database - Work & the economy