McKinsey in the top five companies for positive gender pay gap perception

News & Insights / Liana Bravo and Tom Jenkin / 4 min read

To help break the unconscious biases that exist in society, and continue to shift the narrative, we’re using our data to highlight some of the big issues this Women’s History Month.

Research has consistently shown that the pandemic has affected women more severely than men, in no arena more so than economic opportunity. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, which tracks the evolution of gender-based gaps in four fields (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Political Empowerment, Health and Survival, and  Educational Attainment), concluded that “it will now take 135.6 years to close the gender gap worldwide.” A sharp increase from the 99.5 years estimated before the Covid crisis.

To highlight what businesses can do to break the bias, we’re utilizing our data to make sense of some of the issues in a wide ranging report later this month. Below you’ll find insights focussed around the gender pay gap, how the media perceives leading businesses on the topic, and the organizations with the most positive reputation.

We used data from our platform to compare positive coverage on some of the biggest companies in the world in relation to Gender Pay Gap over the last 12 months. Microsoft received the most positive coverage (770 positive articles), followed by Amazon (532)  and Apple (490). The company with the least positive articles among those analyzed was JP Morgan (six), followed by Berkshire Hathaway (16). Nvidia does not appear as it received no positive coverage on Gender Pay Gap in the year, but it was also the company with the least coverage overall: they were mentioned only in 18 articles, all with neutral sentiment. By comparison, Microsoft’s coverage was 1630 articles. 

By industry, Information Technology companies got the most positive coverage (1302 positive articles between Microsoft, Apple and Alphabet), followed by Consumer Discretionary (558 positive articles between Amazon and Tesla). Financials was the sector with the least positive coverage (22 positive articles). 

In terms of total coverage, Apple was mentioned the most in relation to the topic, followed by Microsoft and Amazon.

From all of the organizations associated with the topic Gender Pay Gap in global media coverage, the above chart highlights the top three with the highest positive sentiment, by month from January 2021 to January 2022.

Plan International (a global NGO that advocates for girls’ rights to education, sexual and reproductive rights, economic empowerment and equality) was the overwhelming winner, achieving the top 3 in 12 of the 13 months analyzed -eight of those in the first place. The NGO is present in 78 countries and, according to their latest annual review, in 2021 they supported more than 26 million girls.

UN Women made the top 3 in seven months, followed by Human Rights Campaign (three months). 

By country, the majority (six) are from the US, followed by the UK (three) and three global organizations. There is also one company from Ireland (An Post) and one from The Netherlands (Equileap). 

Nine of these organizations were also featured in a previous report by Signal AI for having the best perception on Female Leadership

The above chart showcases the 40 organizations most strongly associated with the topic Gender Pay Gap across the year, ordered by average sentiment (from highest positive sentiment to lowest). 

The majority (17) of the organizations represented are from the United Kingdom, followed by the United States (16). 

The UK introduced mandatory gender pay gap reporting for companies with over 250 employees in 2017, but the regulation has been deemed insufficient to tackle the issue since it does not impose any further actions or penalties on companies once the figures are reported. 

Human Rights Campaign -a US organization that has been campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights since 1980- got the highest average proximity and the best average sentiment to the topic across the year. Their annual Corporate Equality Index rates companies on corporate practices, benefits and policies related to LGBTQ+ employees. According to the organization, more than a thousand companies participated in their CEI 2022 Survey (including 379 Fortune 500 employers).

Three global organizations (Plan International, International Labour Organization and UN Women) made it to the top 40, and one regional workers’ union (European Trade Union Confederation). Other countries represented are Brazil, Ireland, and The Netherlands

From all companies proximate to the topic Gender Pay Gap, 15 had a negative average sentiment.  

This data was gathered by using the Signal AI knowledge graph to judge the proximity between an entity (an organization) and a topic, in this case Gender Pay Gap.

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