World

Gender inequality across the world

Even the most developed nations continue to have gender inequality in the workplace.

By Katherine Boliek October 28

With the rise in public declarations of feminism, some people have started to ask if we still even need feminism. However, inequality is far from eradicated today. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD has collected data about how gender equality is progressing in three main areas: Education, Employment, and Entrepreneurship. Their data on employment reveals that there is still much in equality occurring across the world.





The wage gap, calculated here "as the difference between male and female median wages divided by the male median wages" refers to full time employees. This is the simplest measurement of how equal men and women are treated in the workplace. The wage gap in US in 2013 was 17.9 compared to the OECD average of 15.5. The highest wage gap is in South Korea which has decreased since 2000 with 41.8 to 36.6.


Another good indicator of the gender equality in a country is the balance of paid and unpaid work for both men and women. Unpaid work includes tasks such as working around the house, shopping for groceries, and childcare. Women across the world spend about double the time doing unpaid work compared to their male counterparts. Additionally, comparing the total time spent working, paid and unpaid, women work more than men. In the US the difference is about 20 minutes of work a day. In a week this adds up to 2.3 hours of extra work. The OECD highlights this relationship with leisure time. Men are able spend this extra time each day in personal care while women are finishing up unpaid tasks.

Lastly, the number of women in managerial positions says much about the nation's equality in the workplace. Here the percentage of men is compared to the percentage of women in Iceland. Iceland is ranked as having the world's smallest gender gap worldwide. Yet, even in 2013 there remains a large difference.


Workplace gender equality, like gender equality in general, is improving slowly. However there remains a gap across every country in a large number of categories. Some places are much better off than others though. Check out the table to see how each country compares in any of these categories. For more indicators refer to OECD's further analysis.


Country Wage Gap Percent of Men's Work Unpaid Percent of Men's Work Paid Percent of Women's Work Unpaid Percent of Women's Work Paid Percent of Men in Managerial Positions Percent of Women in Managerial Positions
Country Wage Gap Percent of Men's Work Unpaid Percent of Men's Work Paid Percent of Women's Work Unpaid Percent of Women's Work Paid Percent of Men in Managerial Positions Percent of Women in Managerial Positions