Only 28 companies around the world, less than 1%, have closed their gender pay gap, according to research from Equileap.
Dismal action on the gender pay gap is happening while information on it is kept hidden – the report found 78% of companies do not publish information on pay differences.
Just 18 companies in the world achieve gender balance at all company levels as progress stalls with women CEOs at 6% (5% in 2022) and women executives at 20% (18% in 2022), the research firm found.
This is despite the fact that there is rising awareness better gender equality means better performance. The Euronext Equileap Gender Equality France 40 Index, launched in November 2022, used backtesting to show companies with better gender equality outperform by 3% over three years.
The top five companies for gender equality this year are Australian property developer Mirvac with a score of 79%, followed by Diageo (UK), Medibank (Australia), and Allianz (Germany), all scoring 75%, and UBS (Switzerland) with a score of 74%.
Companies in the financial sector are doing particularly well. The average score for the 516 companies in this sector is 44%, a significant rise from 38% last year, and beating the global average (38%) for female representation in the workforce (banks 56%, diversified 43%, insurance 55%).
The worst countries for gender pay parity are Japan 32%, Hong Kong 32% and the US 40%. The best were France, Spain and Italy.
Gender pay gap action
The findings are part of data provider Equileap’s sixth annual Gender Equality Global Report and Ranking. The research examined 3,787 companies, representing 102 million employees globally, that are listed on a major index or in one of 23 developed markets.
Diana van Maasdijk, CEO at Equileap, said: “It is disappointing to see that despite all the talk and commitments from global leaders, actual progress towards gender equality in the workplace is still painfully slow.
“However since 2021, average scores have risen 7 percentage points, a significant move in a dataset that covers 102 million employees around the world.
“It’s telling that in nearly every country researched, we see government commitments that will create better gender equality at work. Progress is far, far too slow but we know that our data is helping investors and companies build a new momentum – ‘what gets measured gets managed’.”
The report did find some bright spots in progress on closing the gender pay gap. Companies offering flexible work locations were up 25 percentage points to 49% in 2023, from 24% in 2021.
Likewise companies publishing an anti-sexual harassment policy were up 11 percentage points to 60% in 2023, up from 49% in 2021.