As US ‘Equal Pay Day’ Approaches, Korn Ferry Issues Gender Pay Index, Analyzing Reasons Behind Inequalities in Male and Female Pay

- Women in US Make On-Average 17.6 Percent Less Than Men – However, Gap Virtually Disappears When Analyzing Same Level, Same Company, Same Function -

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


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

Researchers analyzed information from Korn Ferry’s PayNet database – the world’s largest pay database – to create the Korn Ferry Gender Pay Index. The Index is an analysis of gender and pay for more than 1.3 million employees in 777 companies in the U.S.

The Truth About the Gender Pay Gap

There is heightened awareness of the issue as the U.S. looks to the April 10 Equal Pay Day. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

The Korn Ferry research found that when comparing pay between genders overall in the U.S., men are paid considerably more (17.6 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 7 percent. When considering the same level at the same company, the gap further reduced to 2.6 percent. When male and female employees at the same level and the same company worked in the same function, the average gap amounted to 0.9 percent.

Gender Pay Gap in U.S. (favoring men):

Overall Gap     Same Level    

Same Level,
Same Company


Same Level, Same Company,
Same Function


17.6 percent     7 percent     2.6 percent     0.9 percent

“Our data show that women earn nearly 20 percent less than men as a whole, which is a real, significant issue, but this doesn’t paint a complete picture,” said Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner Maryam Morse. “While there are still a number of organizations that pay women less for the same role, on average, when we compared women and men in the same jobs, the gap is significantly reduced. This pay gap issue can be remedied 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 technical fields.”

“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 and encourage 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