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Three Critical Accelerators to Closing the Gender Pay Gap for Class of 2020, Accenture Research Finds

March 2017

·        67% of UAE female undergraduates aspire to be in a leadership positions

·        Only 10% behind UAE male undergraduates, 83% of UAE female undergraduateshave taken a computing /coding module

·        Only 7% behind UAE male undergraduates, 35% of UAE female undergraduateshave upskilled in digital technologies



AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates; March 9, 2017 – Women graduating from university indeveloping markets in 2020 could be the first generation to close the genderpay gap in their lifetimes, according to newresearch from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). 


The report, Getting to Equal 2017, reveals that, within decades, the pay gap could close if womentake advantage of three career equalizers and if business, government andacademia provide critical support.


With these changes, the pay gap in developed markets could close by 2044, shortening the time to pay parity by 36 years. In developingmarkets, the changes could cut more than 100 years off the time to reach payparity, achieving it by 2066 instead of 2168.


“The future workforce must be an equalworkforce. The gender pay gap is an economic and competitive imperative thatmatters to everyone, and we must all take action to create significantopportunities for women and close the gap more quickly,” said Omar Boulos,regional managing director of Accenture in the Middle East and North Africa.

Accenture’s research found that,globally,a woman earns an average $100 for every $140 a man earns. Adding to thisimbalance is the fact that women are much less likely than men to have paidwork (50 percent and 76 percent, respectively). This contributes to a“hidden pay gap” that increases the economic inequities between men and women:for every $100 a woman earns, a man earns $258, the research shows.


Theresearch also identifies several critical factors that affect a woman’s abilityto achieve equal pay as early as university. Female undergraduates in theUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) are currently less likely than their malecounterparts to choose an area of study that they believe offers high earningpotential (37 percent vs. 42 percent), have a mentor (69 percent vs.70 percent)however women show greater interest then men in aspiring to senior leadershippositions (67 percent vs. 62 percent). Additionally, young women lag inadopting new technologies quickly (58 percent vs. 71 percent) and in takingcoding and computing courses (83 percent vs. 93 percent).


The report, which builds onAccenture’s 2016 research on closing the gender gap in the work place, offers three powerful accelerators to help women close thepay gap:


·        Digital fluency – theextent to which people use digital technologies to connect, learn and work

·        Career strategy – the needfor womento aim high, make informed choices, and manage their careers proactively

·        Tech immersion – theopportunity to acquire greater technology and stronger digital skills toadvance as quickly as men 


Applying these career accelerators, combinedwith support from business, government and academia, could reduce the pay gapby 35 percent by 2030, boosting women’s income $3.9 trillion.


“Gender equality is an essential element ofan inclusive workplace, and this extends to pay,” said Pierre Nanterme,Accenture’s chairman and CEO. “Business, government and academia all have animportant role to play in closing the gap. Collaboration among theseorganizations is key to providing the right opportunities, environments androle models to lead the way for change.”




Accenture surveyedmore than 28,000 women and men, including undergraduates, in 29 countries. Thesample included equal representation of men and women, representing threegenerations (Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers) across all workforce levelsat companies of varying size. The margin of error for the total sample wasapproximately +/- 0.6 percent.


Survey data wasanalyzed using econometric modelling to identify drivers of pay equality andcareer advancement and then combined with published data on education,employment, leadership and research from the World Bank, the OECD, WorldEconomic Forum and the UN to then explore the potential impact of measures toimprove equality. The pay gap calculations are based on Accenture’s economicmodel, which takes into account the lower percentage ofwomen than men in paid work.  


Countries included inthe full study were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark,Finland, France, Germany, Greater China (includes Hong Kong and Taiwan),India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore,South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emiratesalso participated in the survey.


About Accenture

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is a leading globalprofessional services company, providing a broad range of services andsolutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations.Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largestdelivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business andtechnology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainablevalue for their stakeholders. With more than 394,000 people serving clients inmore than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way theworld works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com


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