Women in the health and care sector face a larger gender pay gap than in other economic sectors, earning on average of 24 per cent less than peers who are men, according to a new joint report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The report, the world’s most comprehensive analysis on gender pay inequities in health, finds a raw gender pay gap of approximately 20 percentage points, which jumps to 24 percentage points when accounting for factors such as age, education and working time.
This highlights that women are underpaid for their labour market attributes when compared to men.
Much of the wage gap is unexplained, perhaps due to discrimination towards women – who account for 67 per cent of health and care workers worldwide.
The report also finds that that wages in the health and care sector tend to be lower overall, when compared with other economic sectors.
This is consistent with the finding that wages are often lower in economic sectors where women are predominant.
It also finds a wide variation in gender pay gaps in different countries, suggesting that pay gaps in the sector are not inevitable and that more can be done to close these gaps.
Within countries, gender pay gaps tend to be wider in higher pay categories, where men are over-represented. Women are over-represented in the lower pay categories.