It will now take 135+ years to close gender pay gap because of pandemic

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An additional 36 years have been added to the estimated time it will take to close the gender pay gap, bringing the total to 135 years, according to a March 30 report published by the World Economic Forum.

The widening gap in gender pay has been attributed to the pandemic because women are more frequently employed in jobs hardest hit by lockdowns and face additional pressures providing child care at home.

Seven things to know about the study's findings:

  1. Closing the global gender pay gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years. At the current pace, gender gaps can potentially be closed in 52.1 years in Western Europe and 61.5 years in North America.

  2. In the Global Gender Gap Index rankings, the U.S. ranked in 16th in Western Europe and North America.

  3. The lowest income gap between genders is in Sweden with 18 percent. The U.S.'s gender gap is 35 percent.

  4. Global projections suggest that 5 percent of women lost their jobs during the pandemic, compared to 3.9 percent of men.

  5. Data suggest that when care establishments closed, housework, child care and elder care responsibilities fell disproportionately on women, contributing to higher levels of stress and lower levels of productivity.

  6. Gender gaps are more likely in sectors that require disruptive technical skills. In cloud computing, women make up 14 percent of the workforce; in engineering, 20 percent; and in data and artificial intelligence, 32 percent.

  7. Women are less likely to hold managerial positions. In the U.S., women held only 42 percent of senior and managerial positions, followed by Sweden at 40 percent and the United Kingdom at 36.8 percent.
 

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