Korn Ferry Global Gender Pay Index Analyzes Reasons Behind Inequalities in Male and Female Pay

- Women Across the Globe Make On-Average 16.1 Percent Less Than Men – However, Gap Becomes Much Smaller When Analyzing Same Job Level, Same Company, Same Function -

- Gender Pay Gap Still Very Real Due to Fewer Women in Higher-Level Jobs and Higher-Paying Industries -

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- An in-depth global analysis by Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY), finds the much-publicized pay gap between men and women is real, but it is predominately caused by fewer women than men in higher-paying roles.

Researchers analyzed information from Korn Ferry’s pay database – which is the world’s largest – to create the Korn Ferry Gender Pay Index. The Index is an analysis of gender and pay for more than 12.3 million employees in 14,284 companies in 53 countries across the globe.

The Truth About the Gender Pay Gap Globally

When comparing pay between genders overall, the study found that globally, men are paid on average considerably more (16.1 percent) than women, which is in line with other research on the subject.

However, the Korn Ferry Gender Pay Index found that, when evaluating the same job level, such as director, the gap fell to 5.3 percent globally. When considering the same level at the same company, the gap further reduced to 1.5 percent. And when the male and female employees were at the same job level and the same company and worked in the same function, the average gap amounted to 0.5 percent.

“The issue of male and female pay parity is very significant and real, and it is critical that it be addressed,” said Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner Maryam Morse. “While our data show women earn about 16 percent less than men globally, the gap can be closed if organizations address pay parity across the organization and continue to strive to increase the percentage of women in the best-paying parts of the labor market, including the most senior roles and functions such as engineering and finance.”

The following table highlights results from representative nations from across the globe and shows the salary gap percentage, all favoring men.

Country     Overall Gap     Same Level    

Same Level,
Same Company


Same Level,
Same Company
Same Function


Average across globe     16.1 percent     5.3 percent     1.5 percent     0.5 percent
Brazil     26.2 percent     15.0 percent     5.5 percent     1.9 percent
China     12.7 percent     5.8 percent     1.0 percent     0.3 percent
France     14.1 percent     3.2 percent     3.0 percent     2.2 percent
Germany     16.8 percent     4.3 percent     3.2 percent     2.3 percent
India     16.1 percent     4.0 percent     0.4 percent     0.2 percent
U.K.     23.8 percent     8.3 percent     2.6 percent     1.3 percent
U.S.     17.6 percent     7.0 percent     2.6 percent     0.9 percent

“Pay parity is still a very real issue, but it’s an issue that can be addressed if there is an ongoing effort to enable, encourage and select talented women to take on and thrive in challenging roles,” said Jane Edison Stevenson, Korn Ferry's Global Leader for CEO Succession. “Our research shows women have the skills and competencies needed to ascend to the highest levels within organizations, and it should be a business imperative for companies to help them get there.”

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help companies design their organization – the structure, the roles and responsibilities, as well as how they compensate, develop and motivate their people. As importantly, we help organizations select and hire the talent they need to execute their strategy. Our approximately 7,000 colleagues serve clients in more than 50 countries.

Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner, 612.309.3957

Source: Korn Ferry