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Gender wage gap, women in management: India ranks poor among 100 nations

By Rajiv Shah
Digital bank N26, based in Berlin, known to be offering services to customers to manage their bank account online and from their smartphone in real-time in Europe and USA, has ranked India 76th among 100 countries it has analysed in order to measure female opportunity and achievement around the world in the light on gender equality in business, government and society.
In a study, “The Female Opportunity Index 2020/21”, published online, N26 takes into account several categories to rank the selected 100 countries – including women in government, women in management, women in entrepreneurship, women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), salary level and gender wage gap, equal pay day, female access to education, women's legislation, and maternal leave.
Among comparable countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, also known as BRICS, India is ranked the worst. Brazil ranks 38th, followed by Russia 55th, South Africa 62nd and China 74th (one bit better than India). The best ranking five countries are Norway, Finland, Iceland, UK and Germany, while the five countries which have been ranked poorest are Iran, Nigeria, Jordan, Egypt, and Pakistan (ranked 100th of the hundred countries assessed).
In three important categories, India’s performance is one of the worst. Thus, in ‘Equal pay day’, India ranks 95th, with just five countries ranking worse -- Jordan, Iran, Pakistan, Algeria and Laos. In ‘Women in management’, India ranks 94th, with countries ranking better being Iran, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, and Pakistan. And in ‘Salary level and gender wage gap’, India ranks 97th with just three countries ranking worse than India, Jordan, Algeria and Pakistan.
The study also finds that in the category ‘Women in government’ India ranks No 88th among 100 countries; its score of 80 on a scale of 100 is, ironically, worse than Pakistan’s, which is 83.3. As for other categories, in ‘Women in enterprise’, India ranks 92nd among 100 countries; in ‘Women in STEM’ it ranks 70st; in ‘Access to education’ it ranks 85rd; in ‘Women in legislation’, it ranks 70th, and in ‘Maternity leave’, it ranks 80th.
Overall ranking the highest, Norway scores highly on political representation, corporate leadership and women’s legislation. Interestingly, Rwanda, considered one of the most backward African countries, has been found to have most women in government positions, followed by Spain and Finland. Sweden has the most women in top management positions, while USA has the most female entrepreneurs, and Japan has the highest female access to education score.
USA’s highest ​women in entrepreneurship ​score (100) is followed by New Zealand (99.7) and Australia (99.5). Singapore has the highest ​women in STEM​ score (100), followed by Russia (98.2) and South Korea (97.8). Iceland has the highest ​women’s legislation​ score (100), followed by Finland (96.9) and Spain (96.2). Estonia offers the most ​maternity leave​ days (1,162), followed by Slovakia (1,148) and Finland (1,127). India offers just 84 days of maternity leave – equal to Pakistan.
Releasing the report last week Adrienne Gormley, COO of N26 said, “For many women, financial independence is the only means through which they can determine how they want to live, and yet it often comes at the expense of being the primary care-giver and having the lion’s share of domestic duties at home. Coupled with the gender salary wage gap that continues to be a huge impediment to female earnings, there are still many more obstacles for women who want to achieve the level of financial success that men take for granted.”
Giving the reason why the bank conducted the study, she said, “We at N26 believe that women should have the same opportunities and freedom to be as financially independent as men, and this starts with having equal opportunity to be self-sufficient.” She added, the results of the study show that women are making “incredible strides around the world” despite the “uphill battles” they face.
Gormley claimed, “There has been a lot of discussion about the fact that female-led countries performed better than male-led ones during the height of the first Covid-19 wave. This has been attributed to a number of attributes such as better communication and more lateral thinking, however the ultimate outcome is that countries with female leaders managed better during the peak of the crisis.”
She underlined, “Data has shown that in countries where there is more gender parity, poverty drops and economies grow, while new research has shown that companies who foster female leadership perform better and increase profits. This is something we strongly believe in at N26. No one can predict what the next year or even the next decade has in store for us, but one thing is clear, working towards advancing female leadership creates greater benefits for everyone.”

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The disparity in education and health care is even more pronounced during lockdown. Girls have left school because the only phone in the house, which is needed for online classes, is given to the son even if the daughter is smarter.

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