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After years of decline, is the gender pay gap opening up?

an mean, women They earn less than men. Much of this is due to the functions they perform, by selection or social expectation; These occupations are often worse paying than typical male jobs. Some, such as when a woman is paid less for the same job, is the result of discrimination. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the gap between average male and female wages was at least narrowing. The EconomistThe Glass Ceiling Index for Women’s Empowerment in the Workplace, published each year on March 8, International Women’s Day, shows that this beneficial trend has been mirrored in 2021 in some of the wealthiest members of the workforce. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Developmentincluding Britain and Canada (see chart, and The for the full index).

One explanation is leftovers from the pandemic. When hotels, restaurants and stores closed their doors amid the lockdown, their workers’ wages suffered disproportionately. And these workers were disproportionately women. If so, the widening wage gap may just be a blip: Demand from employers in these sectors has been hot since economies began opening up. Americans working in leisure and hospitality have seen their earnings grow faster than those in male-dominated industries like transportation over the past year or so.

The gains for women at the other end of the income spectrum will help return to the pre-pandemic trend. In 2022, the share of board members across Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Those who were women slipped more than 30% for the first time. MSCI It now predicts parity by 2038, four years earlier than previous estimates. Only 64 of the 3,000 large companies in the research firm’s global stock index have a majority-female board. But that was double the number in 2021 and includes giants such as Citigroup and Shell. Analysis just published by credit rating agency Moody’s, shows that such North American companies consistently have higher credit ratings. It is not easy to separate cause and effect. It should be empowering women as well.

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