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PwC: Progress on gender equality at work is slow

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Two PwC studies published ahead of International Women's Day shed light on gender inequalities in the workplace

PwC: Με αργούς ρυθμούς η πρόοδος της εργασιακorς ισότητας μεταξύ των δύο φύλων

On the occasion of International Women's Day 2024, PwC has published two studies, the “Women in Work Index” and the “Inclusion Matters”, which find that global progress towards achieving gender equality at work continues at a slow pace.

Data from the 12th edition of the Women at Work Index 2024 (WiW Index) reveals that at the current rate, it will take more than half a century to close the average gender pay gap in all 33 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The WiW Index measures progress on gender equality at work across OECD countries, taking into account five indicators that frame PwC's analysis, while measuring various equality indicators of gender in the workplace. One of these indicators is the gender pay gap.

Despite the progress made over the last decade, this year's analysis shows that there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality at work across all five indicators. Over the past decade, the average index score has increased from 56.3 in 2011 to 68 in 2022. In the last update of the Index, the average OECD score improved by about two points, from 66 in 2021 to 68 in 2022.

Between 2021 and 2022, most of the improvement in all OECD countries is due to an increase in the female labor force participation rate from 70.8% to 72.1% and a decrease in the female unemployment rate from 6.4% to 5.3%. However, the average gender pay gap widened from 13.2% to 13.5% over this period. This shows that despite greater participation, women remain at a disadvantage in terms of earnings in the labor market compared to men. Since the Index's inception in 2011, the gender pay gap has been one of the slowest improving indicators, falling by only three percentage points between 2011 and 2022 across OECD countries as a whole.

WiW Index International Ranking

Luxembourg tops the Index, followed by Iceland and Slovenia. The top five countries in the Index in 2021 are still in the top five in 2022, but the ranking order has changed. Luxembourg's strong performance is due to the improvement of all indicators and mainly to

fact that the country still has the lowest gender pay gap in the OECD. The pay gap between men and women in Luxembourg is negative at -0.2%, which means that on average the average pay level is higher for women than for men. The Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland all appear in the top 11.

Inclusion is key to achieving gender equality in the workplace

When it comes to women's feelings in the workplace, PwC's “Inclusion Matters” survey confirms that pay inequality is a black spot for women in the workplace: only 39% of women feel that the financial reward for their work is fair.

PwC drew on information from the PwC Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023 to compile the Inclusion Matters survey, presenting new gender data from nearly 54,000 workers worldwide, of which nearly 23,000 are women. The survey includes a Workplace Inclusion Index that measures three key dimensions: belonging, fairness and inclusive decision-making – and finds a statistically significant gender gap in favor of men.

The survey finds that there is a significant gap between the propensity of men and women to ask for promotions (-9 points) and salary increases (-8 points). However, women with an inclusion index score in the top quartile are 1.4 times more likely to ask for a raise and 1.5 times more likely to ask for a promotion. They are also 2.2 times more likely to recommend their employer to others. Women's intention to change jobs increased (+8 points) this year, with one in four women planning to change employers in the next 12 months, just below the men's change intention rate of 27%. Underscoring yet another reason why inclusion matters, women with the highest inclusion scores are 1.2 times less likely to change employers.

The report also finds that inclusion is positively correlated with a sense of personal growth, and women who feel included are 1.7 times more likely to actively seek out learning opportunities and develop new skills.

Commenting on report the Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer at PwC Cyprus, Cleo Papadopoulou says: “At PwC, we truly believe that inclusion matters for further progress towards gender equality. PwC research shows that inclusion in the workplace is an important driver in promoting the growth and advancement of women. A workplace where women feel that they belong and that they are included in decision-making and are treated fairly and equally is a workplace where women can thrive.”

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Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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