Equal Pay for Equal Work in Different Countries
Last month, the National Committee on Pay Equality dubbed a specific day, April 10th, to symbolize how far into the year women must work in order to earn the exact same salary as a man in the previous year. In other words, women must work over 16 months to earn what men make in 12 months.
In the United States, based on the median salaries of all full-time, year-round employees in 2016, women now make $0.805 for every $1.00 men make, which is actually a sizable jump from $0.796 in 2015.
While the jump was significant for the United States, what if any changes happened in pay differences in the rest of the world? Is the US an anomaly or are there women worse off in other countries?
The chart below is from Statista using data from Ipsos and shows the differences in equal pay among different countries based on what percentage of women and men (as well as the total) believe that equal pay is a major issue in their country. Ultimately, equal pay remains an issue even in some of the most advanced European economies, namely Sweden, Germany and France. 43% of Swedish women feel that equal pay is a major issue compared to 28% of Swedish men, and over 1/3 of the population. Interestingly enough, about 32% of German men and 37% of German women believe there is an issue with the pay gap -- the highest percentage of men in any population believing there is a problem with the way women are paid.
However, the discrepancy between the opinion of the genders is a massive issue because if you cannot arrive at the same conclusion that this a problem, it's unlikely that much will be done to solve the issue. This discrepancy is widest in Sweden, Belgium, Chile and the US.
While some progress has been made, we aren't quite there, and as the pay gap shrinks but remains uneven, we are likely to see an even greater drop in the number of men who don't see the gap as a problem.