MUMBAI: Men in India earn 67% more on average than women, according to a survey conducted by Accenture which shows that disparity in the country is much higher than the global average of 40% across industries.
The ‘Getting to Equal 2017’ survey is based on the average pay gap between men and women in employment over a 12-month period excluding bonuses across levels in 31 industries. It took into consideration more than 28,000 women and men, including undergraduates, across industries in 29 countries.
“The gender pay gap is due to a combination of factors, one of the major reasons being cultural and social issues,” said Rekha Menon, chairman, Accenture in India. “Culturally, women are still meant to be prime care-givers at home. It is culturally acceptable for women to take breaks. Even otherwise, women don’t negotiate for better pay and are more accepting of what they are offered.”
On current trends, the pay gap won’t close until 2080 in developed markets, and 2168 in developing markets, as per research based on the survey.
Digital fluency, career strategy and tech immersion could together reduce pay gap in India 19% by 2030, the research shows. This will lead to an addition of 2.2 crore women to the paid workforce and add $39 billion to women’s income by 2030.
Globally, companies could bridge the pay gap 35% and add $3.9 trillion to women’s income by 2030 by adopting these three equalising measures, as per the research.
“Digital fluency gives more flexibility to women and results in more women staying back in the workforce. At the same time women have to learn new skills and adopt new technology. Tech immersion helps in getting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills in coding and computing,” said Menon.
Adding to this imbalance is the fact that women (50%) are much less likely than men (76%) to have paid work. In India 80% of the pay gap in India is attributed to a lack of female participation in the workforce, with 93% men compared to 31% women in paid employment.
This contributes to a ‘hidden pay gap’ that increases the economic inequities between men and women, as per the research. On this metric, globally for every $100 a woman earns a man earns $258.
Working fewer hours than men (4%), working in a lower paying industry (3%), and lacking a tertiary education (2%) contribute only slightly to the hidden pay gap in India, according to the research, which says cultural and social issues account for 62% of the reason for the pay gap among employed men and women.