Women in India earn 18.8 per cent less than men, higher than the global average, largely due to lack of representation in highest-paying job functions and industries, says a report.
According to Korn Ferry Hay Group, women globally earn 17.6 per cent less than men and the figure for India stands higher at 18.8 per cent.
The global study by the group's PayNet database tracked and analysed gender and pay for more than 8 million employees in 33 countries, including 57,000 job holders in India.
"Our data shows that when it comes to thinking about pay on the basis of gender, a man and a woman in the same company, doing the same job, will usually be paid nearly the same -- but still favouring men by 1.6 per cent," Ben Frost, a global reward expert at Hay Group said, adding that the data shows this very consistently, from Sweden to South Africa.
In India, for the similar job levels and functions the pay gap, however, is 3.5 per cent.
The gender pay gap impacts companies almost identically across the globe, the report said.
However, it added, firms are perhaps looking for a solution in the wrong places.
"The biggest driver of the pay gap is a lack of women in high-paying industries, senior functions and in leadership positions.
"If we want to close the pay gap and make a difference, it is the road to the top jobs that needs to be the focus. This is the pay gap problem," Frost said.
The number of women found in highest-paying industries (like oil & gas, technology and life sciences) is lacking.
Further, even in lower-paying sectors where women dominate -- such as hospitality and tourism -- men still hold the vast majority of management and executive roles -- the highest paid jobs within any industry.
"Organisations need to scrutinise the unconscious male bias in the ways they hire, develop, promote and reward employees, and define successful career paths, to ensure they optimize female talent," said Peggy Hazard, managing principal at Korn Ferry Hay Group and co-author of the study.
"Only when we have more women in higher paying jobs will we see the gender pay gap begin to close -- not only by further equalling pay at similar job levels, but ensuring females reach the most senior roles, at the top of global organisations," Hazard said.
PayNet database contains pay details for more than 20 million job holders in 25,000 organisations in more than 110 countries.
The image is used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Reuters