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World Cup: Gender Pay Edition 1





Posted by James Bigus on 19 June 2018

World Cup: Gender Pay Edition 1

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As World Cup madness takes over, at Innecto we’ve decided to recreate the tournament with a gender pay angle - using the World Economic Forum 2017 Global Gender Gap report’s Female/Male estimated earned income ratio (referred to henceforth as “wage parity”).

How will traditional footballing powerhouses such as Germany and Brazil fare? Will England (represented here as the UK) make the traditional early exit? Read on to find out!

Group Stage

The host nation Russia top group A with a wage parity of 62%, closely followed by Uruguay on 59%. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the two Arab countries who make an early exit, Egypt with 29% wage parity and Saudi Arabia with 22%. This is no doubt a product of the traditionally male-dominated workforce in these countries.

Group B sees Iberian neighbours Portugal and Spain win through with wage parities of 72% and 63% respectively. Morocco crash out with 26%, trailed by Iran who sit at the foot of the group with a wage parity of just 17%, the lowest of the World Cup participants.

France romp to victory in group C with 74% wage parity, closely followed by Denmark at 67%. In a hard-fought group, Peru come third with 65%, having introduced equal pay legislation in December 2017. Somewhat surprisingly, Australia bring up the rear in Group C with 62%.

Over in group D, gender equality visionaries Iceland finish first with a wage parity of 73%. Surprise runners-up are Croatia, also with 73%. Nigeria and Argentina bring up the rear with 65% and 49% respectively.  

Group E sees Switzerland rise to the top with wage parity of 70%, and Serbia take second with 67%. Proving that footballing flair means nothing when it comes to workplace equality, Brazil come third in the group with wage parity of 58%. Close behind is Costa Rica on 55%.

Group F again sees a strong showing from Scandinavia: Sweden tops the group with wage parity of 78%, closely followed by economic and footballing giants Germany with 68%. Mexico are third on 50% because of limited female participation in the workforce. South Korea bottoms out the group on 45%, largely due to the drop-off in female workforce participation around the age of 30-35.

On to Group G and England (UK) continue an ignoble tradition of crashing out at the first hurdle. Our wage parity is 55%, despite the recently increased visibility of the gender pay gap. Belgium spanks us with 65%, progressing to round two along with Panama at 62%. An easy victory over Tunisia on 27% is small consolation.

Colombia wins group H with 68%, with Poland second on 64%. Japan are third in the group with 52% wage parity – partly due to Japan’s traditional working pattern of very long hours. Senegal is close behind with 50%, since socio-cultural and religious barriers largely confine women to secondary roles in the workplace.

2nd Round

The first match is a hard-fought battle, with France’s 74% wage parity versus Croatia’s 73%. While Croatia shines amongst the Central and Eastern European countries, France edges them out early on.

Next up is another close match, with host nation Russia versus Spain. It’s the Spaniards who progress, with their wage parity of 63% just pipping Russia’s 62%. Meanwhile Portugal comfortably beat Uruguay with 72% against Uruguay’s 59%.

In the battle of the Scandinavian heavy-hitters, it’s Iceland victorious against Denmark, 73% to 67% - Denmark’s high score is likely a product of forward-thinking parental leave policies and the 2014 Equal Pay Act that fines businesses with 10+ employees if they fail to comply with workforce gender audits.

The clash of European neighbours Germany and Switzerland sees the Swiss progressing, with wage parities of 70% and 68% respectively. Another tight match sees Belgium knock out Poland 65% to 64%. Somewhat depressingly back in 2016 the then Polish Equalities Minister claimed that wage discrimination was ‘a myth, perpetuated by women’s imagination’.

Sweden sees off Serbia with an easy round 2 victory, crushing them with a wage parity of 78% against Serbia’s 67%. The final match sees plenty of Latin American flair and ends with Colombia victorious over Panama, with wage parity of 68% to 62%. This is despite Panama’s gender parity task force which aims to increase the number of women entering and progressing in the labour market.

Tune in next week to find out who’ll be crowned the Gender Pay World Cup winner!

To talk about gender pay (or football – I don’t mind), please call 020 3457 0894 or email








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