This Index, published by PwC in February 2017 shows that the OECD has continued its gradual progress towards greater female economic empowerment. The Nordic countries, particularly Iceland, Sweden and Norway, continue to occupy the top positions on the Index.
The Index takes a closer look at how long it might take for the gap to close at current rates of progress. A simple extrapolation of historic trends suggests that the gender pay gap in the UK, currently at 17%, might not close until around 2040, meaning that we are still a long way away from achieving pay parity. For some countries where the pace of progress has been slow, this might not be achieved for at least another two centuries!
- Iceland, Sweden and Norway remain the top 3 performing OECD countries.
The UK experienced a small improvement in its performance, rising from 14th to 13th position in 2015.
- Poland stands out for achieving the largest annual improvement, rising from 12th to 9th due to fall in female unemployment and an increase in the full-time employment rate.
- Over the longer term there have been more significant movements in country rankings. Israel and Poland stand out for improving by more than 10 positions since 2000, while the US and Portugal have lost ground.
- There are significant economic benefits in the long-term from increasing the female employment rate to match that of Sweden. The GDP gains across the OECD could be around US$6 trillion.
- Fully closing the gender pay gap could increase total female earnings by US$2 trillion across the OECD.
- However, at current rates of progress, the average OECD country would take almost a century to close the pay gap.
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