The topic of gender pay equity was back in the news this week with the release of two new wage gap reports, which demonstrate that women continue to make less than their male counterparts. The Economic Policy Institute reported that despite women entering the workforce in record numbers and making gains in educational attainment, the 2014 median hourly wages of U.S. women were only 83 percent of men’s – and the small decrease in the gap is primarily due to stagnant or falling male wages, not from gains by women.
The World Economic Forum also released their 2015 Global Gender Gap Report, which shows that wage inequality persists; with women only now earning what men did a decade ago. The wage disparity analyzed on a global basis is even worse than in the U.S., with the 2015 global average, annual earnings of women only 52 percent of men’s. Based on the slow pace of progress towards gender economic parity, the data suggests that it could take another 118 years (until 2133) to close the global pay gap.
Why has it been so difficult to close the wage gap between women and men? Because the situation is much more complex than most people realize, with many elements influencing the problem. Even though the gender pay gap issue is complex – it’s fixable. But fixing it will require the efforts of people throughout the world, from schools to hiring managers, from human resource personnel to parents of daughters, from governments to groups championing economic and human rights. And, it may require taking bolder actions. Read the rest of this entry »