UN summit discusses wage inequality among women worldwide

World Today

Women’s equality could add $12 trillion to global economic growth over the next decade.  That’s one of the arguments for gender parity under the U.N. spotlight.

Government officials and business leaders are meeting to advance the role of women in the workforce.


CGNT’s Liling Tan reports.
Follow Liling Tan on Twitter @LilingTan

UN summit discusses wage inequality among women worldwide

UN summit discusses wage inequality among women worldwide

Women’s equality could add $12 trillion to global economic growth over the next decade. That’s one of the arguments for gender parity under the U.N. spotlight. Government officials and business leaders are meeting to advance the role of women in the workforce. CGNT’s Liling Tan reports.

Kemoy Duhaney works in beauty and fashion retail. Like many women across different industries, she had reservations about negotiating for higher pay.

“The challenges I was facing was that I didn’t have the confidence to negotiate my salary when I got a job offer, and it happened to me several times, ” Duhaney said.

However, Kemoy stands out among her female peers for eventually negotiating a 20 percent increase over a job offer.

Alexandra Dickinson, CEO and founder of AskForIt, advises women on how to negotiate higher pay. And that involves asking both female AND male colleagues about their salary range, and setting clear goals.

“So what is your target? Meaning what is the outcome you would love to have,” said Dickinson. “And typically for women I advise them just bump that up by 20 percent right off the bat, because studies show that women set lower expectations for themselves. Men apply for jobs when they reach 60 percent of the criteria, women apply for jobs when they reach 100 to 110 percent of the criteria.”

Dickinson will bring her expertise to a two-week-long summit at the United Nations. It brings public and private sector leaders together to find ways to narrow the global gender gap, which stands at 23 percent.

“The existing world of work is not working for women,” said Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. “Women’s right to work is not guaranteed. Women’s labor force participation is very low. The global average is 50 percent against 75 percent for men, but in developing countries it is as low as 25 percent.”

Among the solutions under discussion is for developing nations. There’s a strong correlation between poverty and gender disparity, access to education for women and a change in cultural attitudes where it comes to unpaid domestic work. For more advanced economies like America, it’s increased participation of women in sectors such as science, math, engineering and information technology.

The U.N.’s goal is to achieve gender parity by 2030, an ambitious goal, but U.N. officials said it is possible if governments and businesses also make it a priority.