Fact: The wage gap is real, and it’s a worldwide phenomenon. If you’re a working woman, there’s a good chance you’re underpaid. Despite awareness campaigns and progress achieved by women human rights activists, the global average of annual earning proves that men still far out-earn women: They make $20,000 in comparison to our $11,000. In 2016, the World Economic Forum reported that it could take 170 years to close the wage and employment-opportunity gaps.
Gender pay gap statistics differ greatly from country to country. The good news is that most countries are progressing for the better. The bad news: North America is the only region where the gap is increasing. However, we’ve gotten better at highlighting the gender pay gap through various awareness initiatives (Equal Pay Day) and legal frameworks (CEDAW General Recommendation No.13: Equal remuneration for work of equal value). We're also now defining "work" to take into account the value of women’s non-monetized contributions through unpaid care work: domestic housework, childcare, and elderly support.
It would be ideal for women and men to be paid equally by the worth of their work, and not just because it would benefit their individual lives. If men and women were paid equally, the worldwide GDP would grow by $12 trillion. While the wage gap is complicated and closing it is far from simple, there are things that individuals can do to help fix this problem. If you are a woman, the first step is to personally find out how much you should be paid for the job you’re doing — and if you’re being underpaid. Not sure where to start? Ahead, seven ways to find out.
It’s 2017, and yet women are still fighting for equality. Data suggests it will take until 2152 to close the gender wage gap, but it shouldn’t take a century to get what we want. We want more, and Refinery29 is here to help — because 135 years is too long to wait for what we deserve today.