Gender Inequality: Why Are Women Paid Less than Men?

Published 30 Jul 2018
Reference 6406
Region Global
Length 9 page(s)
Language English

The case accounts for the gender pay gap in companies and industries around the world. In Europe, women earn on average 84 cents per hour for every euro men make. In the United States, they earn between 80 and 82 cents per hour for every dollar made by a man. The gap widens further after women have children. Iceland is a rare exception; companies in Iceland are under a legal obligation to prove that they offer equal pay. Elsewhere, the under-representation of women in leadership roles in government, industry, the boardroom and c-suite means a dearth of role models for girls. The case shines a spotlight on ingrained behaviours and perceptions that condone the gender pay gap on the grounds that men have more responsible jobs and hold more senior positions.

Teaching objectives

The case is designed for MBA participants and senior executives entering the labour force at management level or returning to the job market (female and male employees alike). It focuses on a key public policy issue that is present at all levels in the public and private sectors. Without seeking to present instant solutions to one of the thorniest problems facing organizations, it gives instructors the opportunity to demonstrate concern about gender-related issues and flexibility in handling classroom discussion on this hot topic.

  • gender pay gap
  • job discrimination
  • pay data
  • childbirth
  • senior positions
  • low-paid work
  • government intervention
  • women’s work
  • gender segregation
  • female earnings
  • pay difference
  • career choices
  • status quo
  • public policy
  • Q41718