The gender pay gap, a significant point of contention in socio-economic debates, refers to the differential in average earnings between men and women.
While some believe the divide is narrowing, recent data suggests that disparities persist across various industries,
even in sectors where female participation is comparatively high. Despite progressive strides in many arenas of gender equality, the pay gap remains an elusive challenge to surmount. Here’s a closer look.
The Paradox of Pay:
Even in sectors like financial services and IT with high female participation, women consistently earn less. Specifically, women in financial services earn 91% of their male counterparts, and in IT, the figure stands at 79%.
Misconceptions about Participation:
A high rate of female participation in a sector doesn’t necessarily equate to wage equality. Even sectors with a larger female workforce continue to grapple with pay disparities.
Snapshot of Female Workforce Participation:
Women constitute 22.4% in the financial services sector and 30% in IT, notably higher than the 12.7% average
Job Retention Disparities:
Women face greater challenges in job retention. Factors like child and elderly care responsibilities play a role. Out of 12 sectors, 10 report higher turnover rates for women than men.
Claudia Goldin, who was honored with the 2023 Nobel Prize in economics, underscored the enduring pay gap, noting the non-linear value assigned to work hours in many sectors.
The Periodic Labour Force Survey Annual Report 2022-23 reveals that in rural India, women earn 80% of male earnings, while in urban regions, it’s 79.6%.
Higher Education and Pay Disparities:
Contrary to expectations, a 2010 study focusing on MBA graduates found that advanced degrees don’t necessarily level the playing field. The gender pay gap can widen, especially during the initial 15 years post-graduation.
In essence, the gender pay gap continues to be a pressing concern worldwide. Addressing this requires a holistic approach encompassing policy changes, societal shifts, and industry-specific interventions.
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