Transparency and open data in closing gender pay gaps in the public sector: supporting open feminist government
In both the formal and informal sectors, women globally continue to lag behind men in hourly earnings and wages. This gender pay gap is a challenge that limits women’s economic empowerment. The gap, however, is difficult to quantify due to a lack of gender-disaggregated data about wages in the formal and informal sectors, which in turn contributes to ineffective policy, or no policies at all. There is some evidence that compensation transparency, such as mandates around annual public reporting, has helped to shrink gender pay gaps in private companies in countries such as Denmark and the UK. However, to date, much of the push in research and transparency to address gender pay gaps occurs in high-income countries.
This project will explore the potential of action-focused research to improve understanding of the role of public data standards for publishing and tracking gender data gaps and to highlight challenges in low- and middle-income countries. Working with stakeholders such as governments and the private sector through the Open Government Partnership, the project will explore models for advancing pay transparency and narrowing gender pay gaps and the potential for these models in low- and middle-income contexts. The research will focus on expanding transparency efforts from formal to informal economy measurements and will experiment with actively implementing and testing a draft data standard for a government to share pay equity data. If successful, the model could be adopted as a best practice for the Open Government Partnership in Argentina to further government commitments to releasing more transparent pay gap and pay equity data.