Over the last years, topics related to gender equality have received increased attention, especially in the global perspective. Equal compensation between female and male employees is an important aspect of gender equality and is subject to our 2019 special analysis. Several recently adopted regulations and laws, e. g. the Transparency in Wage Structures Act (Entgelttransparenzgesetz) in Germany from June 2017 or the upcoming Law on Equal Wages and Salaries for Men and Women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reflect the topicality of equal gender pay.
Over the last years, topics related to gender equality have received increased attention globally. Equal compensation between female and male employees is an important aspect of gender equality and it is subject to our 2019 special analysis.
Petra Knab-Hägele, Senior Partner hkp/// group
In the following, top and middle management compensation for selected countries worldwide, namely Brazil, China, Germany, Great Britain, the UAE, and the USA, is analyzed regarding pay differences between male and female managers. Along with the expectations, the percentage of female incumbents is higher on the lower management levels than on the top levels for all considered countries. China and the United States are the countries with the largest proportion of female employees across all analyzed levels. Interestingly, these two countries also exhibit either only slightly lower or even higher compensation levels for female managers than for their male counterparts.
All other countries in this analysis show a rather strong pay gap in favor of male top executives. In Germany and Brazil, the difference between the compensation levels of men and women is the largest.
Regulations concerning gender pay gap
Regulations and laws concerning equal gender pay have established a common ground for discussions and reached successful practical realization in many countries worldwide. The USA was the first country to put this issue on the political agenda and adopted the Equal Pay Act in 1963 aiming at abolishing wage disparity based on gender. Although there is no regulation on the national level which requires companies to disclose information on gender pay equality, several US states (e. g. New Mexico, New York) have local regulations that require disclosure of gender-specific wage differences under certain conditions. The early political attention that equal pay received in the USA may have been contributing to the rather low or even non-existing pay discrimination of female employees. The analysis of hkp/// GEN data also indicates rather small differences in the compensation between females and males in the USA.
Fig. 1: Average female percentage in data submissions per country and hkp/// Executive Level (all companies considered)
Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Union promotes the elimination of discrimination on grounds of gender in the field of employment and occupation. Although a common EU guideline concerning gender pay gap is in place, the legislation in given countries may vary. Equality Act 2010 Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/172) recently adopted in Great Britain binds employers to report the difference between the median and average hourly rate among male and female employees, as well as the difference between the median bonus payments.