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Moving women to the top: McKinsey Global Survey results

Hei-ock Kim

McKinsey October 2010 A majority of executives believe gender diversity in leadership is linked to better financial performance, but companies take few actions to support women in the workforce. As the number of women participating in the workforce grows, their potential influence on business is becoming ever more important. Seventy-two percent of respondents to a recent McKinsey survey believe there …

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How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth

Hei-ock Kim

McKinsey September 2015 By Jonathan Woetzel, Anu Madgavkar, Kweilin Ellingrud, Eric Labaye, Sandrine Devillard, Eric Kutcher, James Manyika, Richard Dobbs, and Mekala Krishnan A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality. The public, private, and social sectors will need to act to close gender gaps in …

Korn Ferry Pay Index cover

THE GENDER PAY GAP: Myth vs. Reality… And What Can Be Done About It

Hei-ock Kim


What makes the gender pay
issue a board-level concern?
In a word, profitability.
According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics’
recent study of 21,980 companies in 91 countries, the presence of
more female leaders in top positions of corporate management correlates
with increased profitability.
The gender pay gap has become a rallying cry among shareholder
groups, in the media and also as a much-talked-about issue during
the US presidential election season. According to one widely quoted
statistic from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR): “In
2015, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar
earned by men, a gender wage gap of 21 percent.” That quote has
been repeated, reprinted and retweeted countless times, but how
accurate is it?
While there is some consensus that a gender pay gap exists, what is it
really? Equally important, what are the causes, and what can organizations
to do to ensure that individuals are paid what they are worth,
regardless of gender?
Korn Ferry Hay Group set out to create a more accurate view of what
the gender pay gap actually is. We had one advantage at the outset,
one lacking in other analyses: We were able to control for job level—
the biggest driver of pay. Our pay database holds compensation data
for more than 20 million employees in more than 110 countries andacross 25,000 organizations, making it the largest and the most comprehensive
such database in the world. In addition, for every country for
which we have the granular data (in this case for 33 countries), we were
able to compare pay for men and women at the same job level; at the
same job level and in the same company; and at the same job level, in the
same company and in the same function.
By isolating the main factors that influence pay—job level, company and
function—we found that the actual gender pay gap looks far different
from the image broadcast in the media. In fact, the deeper we drilled into
the data, the smaller the pay gap became. And when we compared like
with like, it became so small as to virtually disappear.

Two Kids at the Beach


Hei-ock Kim

Henrik Kleven
Camille Landais
Jakob Egholt Søgaard
Working Paper 24219
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
January 2018

Despite considerable gender convergence over time, substantial gender inequality persists in all
countries. Using Danish administrative data from 1980-2013 and an event study approach, we
show that most of the remaining gender inequality in earnings is due to children. The arrival of
children creates a gender gap in earnings of around 20% in the long run, driven in roughly equal
proportions by labor force participation, hours of work, and wage rates. Underlying these “child
penalties”, we find clear dynamic impacts on occupation, promotion to manager, sector, and the
family friendliness of the firm for women relative to men. Based on a dynamic decomposition
framework, we show that the fraction of gender inequality caused by child penalties has increased
dramatically over time, from about 40% in 1980 to about 80%in 2013. As a possible explanation
for the persistence of child penalties, we show that they are transmitted through generations, from
parents to daughters (but not sons), consistent with an influence of childhood environment in the
formation of women’s preferences over family and career


The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy

Hei-ock Kim

Jessica Milli, Ph.D., Yixuan Huang, Heidi Hartmann Ph.D., and Jeff Hayes, Ph.D.
This briefing paper summarizes analyses of the 2014-2016 Current Population Survey Annual
Social and Economic supplement and uses statistical controls for labor supply, human capital,
and labor market characteristics to estimate: 1) how much women’s earnings and family incomes
would rise if working women were paid the same as comparable men (men who work the same
number of hours, are the same age, have the same educational attainment and urban/rural status
and live in the same region of the country); 2) how much women and their families lose because
women earn less than similarly qualified men; 3) how many children would benefit from the
increased earnings of their mothers; 4) how many children and families would be brought out of
poverty if women received equal pay; and 5) how much the economy as a whole suffers from
inequality in pay between women and men.

Glassdoor Cover

The Pipeline Problem: How College Majors Contribute to the Gender Wage Gap

Hei-ock Kim

By Andrew Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Chief Economist, Glassdoor
Jyotsna Jayaraman
Senior Data Analyst, Glassdoor

During college, men and women gravitate toward different majors, often due to
societal pressures. This puts men and women on different career tracks — with
different pay — after college. How does this contribute to America’s gender pay gap?
• Using a unique dataset of more than 46,900 resumes shared on Glassdoor, we
illustrate how men and women sorting into different college majors translates into
gender gaps in careers and pay later.
• Many college majors that lead to high-paying roles in tech and engineering are
male dominated, while majors that lead to lower-paying roles in social sciences
and liberal arts tend to be female-dominated, placing men in higher-paying
career pathways, on average.
• The most male-dominated majors are Mechanical Engineering
(89 percent male), Civil Engineering (83 percent male), Physics
(81 percent male), Computer Science and Engineering (74 percent male),
and Electrical Engineering (74 percent male).
• The most female-dominated majors are Social Work (85 percent female),
Healthcare Administration (84 percent female), Anthropology
(80 percent female), Nursing (80 percent female), and Human Resources
(80 percent female).
• Nine of the 10 highest paying majors we examined are male-dominated. By
contrast, 6 of the 10 lowest-paying majors are female-dominated.
• Even within the same major men and women often end up on differe nt career
tracks, resulting in a pay gap that could follow them for a lifetime. In our sample,
across the 50 most common majors, men and women face an 11.5 percent pay gap
on average in the first five years of their careers.
• Majors leading to the largest pay gaps favoring men include Healthcare
Administration (22 percent pay gap), Mathematics (18 percent pay gap)
and Biology (13 percent pay gap).
• Majors leading to the largest pay gaps favoring women — a reverse pay
gap — include Architecture (-14 percent pay gap), Music (-10.1 percent
pay gap) and Social Work (-8.4 percent pay gap).
• Choice of college major can have a dramatic impact on jobs and pay later on. Our
results suggest that gender imbalances among college majors are an important and
often overlooked driver of the gender pay gap.

California Women’s Well-Being Index

Hei-ock Kim

The California Women’s Well-Being Index is a multifaceted, composite measure that consists of five “dimensions”: Health, Personal Safety, Employment & Earnings, Economic Security, and Political Empowerment. Each dimension is composed of six indicators that have been standardized and combined to create dimension scores, on a scale from zero to 100, for each of California’s 58 counties. The five dimension scores …

Young women are losing ground

Hei-ock Kim

Los Angeles Times June 19, 2017 By Anna M. Simmons Young American women are poorer than their mothers and grandmothers were when they were young, more likely to commit suicide and be shut out of high-paying technology jobs — an overall demise in well-being since the baby boom generation. Those are the findings in a new report by the Population …