3 Accelerators To Help Close The Gender Pay Gap: Study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 08, 2017

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Women graduating from university in developing markets in 2020 could be the first generation to close the gender pay gap in their lifetimes, states a new research from Accenture.

The study highlights three powerful accelerators to help women close the pay gap:

- Digital fluency – the extent to which people use digital technologies to connect, learn and work

- Career strategy – the need for women to aim high, make informed choices, and manage their careers proactively

- Tech immersion – the opportunity to acquire greater technology and stronger digital skills to advance as quickly as men 

The cross-industry report, Getting to Equal 2017,includes findings from 29 countries and reveals that, within decades, the average pay gap could close if women take advantage of three career equalizers and if business, government and academia provide critical support.

With these changes, the average pay gap in developed markets could close by 2044, shortening the time to pay parity by 36 years. In developing markets, the changes could cut more than 100 years off the time to reach pay parity, achieving it by 2066 instead of 2168.

Accenture’s research found that, globally, a woman earns an average $100 for every $140 a man earns.  Adding to this imbalance is the fact that women are much less likely than men to have paid work (50 percent and 76 percent, respectively). This contributes to a “hidden pay gap” that increases the economic inequities between men and women: for every $100 a woman earns, a man earns $258, the research shows.  

“Despite recent successes such as improvement in education, and more work opportunities, socio-cultural issues often force women to step back at important stages in their careers making the gap harder to close,” said Rekha Menon, Chairman and Sr. Managing Director, Accenture in India. “However, the technology industry has played a transformative role in fostering gender equality in the workplace, through its products and services, and through inclusive policies and practices.”

The report also identifies several critical factors that affect a woman’s ability to achieve equal pay as early as university. Female undergraduates in India are currently less likely than their male counterparts to continuously learn new digital skills (72 percent men vs. 63 percent women), and lag in adopting new technologies quickly (66 percent men vs. 58 percent women). However, they are just as likely as men to take coding/computing courses (88 percent women vs. 85 percent men).