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

MUMBAI / CHENNAI, April ,2018– 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 ananalysis of gender and pay for more than 12.3 million employees in 14,284 companies in 53 countries across the globe.

The truth aboutthe 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 level and the same company and worked in the same function, the average gap amounted to 0.5 percent.

“Our data show that women earn about 16 percent less than men as a whole, which is a real, significant issue, but this doesn’t paint a complete picture,” said Bob Wesselkamper, Korn Ferry head of Rewards and Benefits Solutions. “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 job, 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 other technical disciplines.” 

The Pay Gap in India

In India, the overall gender pay gap at 16.1 percent, which is similar to the average global gap.When evaluating the same job level, the gap is 4 percent, and when considering the same level at the same company, the gap fell to 0.4 percent. When male and female employees at the same level and the same company worked in the same function, the gap fell to 0.2 percent.

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 Reena Wahi, Client Partner, Korn Ferry Hay Group.“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.



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