Gender-pay inequality persists worldwide despite progress

Researchers examined gender-pay inequality in 15 countries and found that women still earn less than men in similar occupations.
By: | December 16, 2022

Women who work the same jobs as men continue to face a pay gap despite advances in gender equality, according to research on workplace gender equality co-written by professors from the University of Illinois.

Using linked employer-employee data from 15 countries, including the US, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea, researchers from over 20 institutions examined gender-pay inequality, and concluded that gender continues to play a substantial role in the overall earnings gap in all 15 countries.

For instance, the pay gap between men and women ages 30-55 ranged from 10% in Hungary to 41% in South Korea. In those countries, the within-job pay gap was 9.5% and 18.8%, respectively.

Eunmi Mun, a Professor of Labour and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois, said the research demonstrates that wage differentials are not confined to certain countries, but occur throughout advanced economies and industrialised nations.

“If there are sizeable differences between the pay that women and men receive when they do the same work for the same employer, then policies mandating equal pay have an important role to play in creating gender equality,” she added.

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To support these policies and to place a higher value on the work that women do, she recommended establishing policies that consider organisational hiring and promotion practices that match people to jobs, as well as fostering a broader societal view about what constitutes to valuable work.