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Latin America & Caribbean: gender pay gap index 2020, by country

In 2020, Nicaragua was the Latin American country with the highest gender pay gap index, with 0.77 points. Mexico, on the other hand, had the worst score in the region with 0.46 points. This shows that, on average, women's income in Mexico represented 46% percent of the income received by men.

Is the gender pay gap likely to be breached?

In a 2020 survey, 53 percent of respondents in Mexico thought it was likely that women will be paid as much as men for the same work. This was one of the most optimistic perspectives when compared to the other Latin American nations surveyed. For instance, in Brazil, only 39 percent of the adults interviewed said that this would be possible in the near future. Based on people's views on salary equality, Mexico was found to be one of the Latin American countries with the best wage equality perception index, which shows that the population's perceptions do not always match reality.

The software pay gap in Mexico

The digital era does not necessarily favor income equality between genders. Recent data shows that men working in the Mexican software industry receive significantly higher monthly salaries than women or non-binary persons. Wage differences based on gender were specially noticeable in the field of software architecture, where a woman's salary represented, on average, only 60 percent of what a man would earn for performing the same tasks in a comparable position.

Gender pay gap index based on estimated earned income in selected countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020

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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period


Special properties

The highest possible score is 1 (equality) and the lowest possible score is 0 (inequality); Based on estimated earned income in U.S. dollars at purchasing power parity (PPP) values

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded. The index scores shown in the graph may slightly differ to the original three-decimal scores.

The source provides the following additional information: "The estimated female earned income (…) is computed using female and male shares of the economically active population, the ratio of the female to male wages (both indicators are sourced from the ILO), gross domestic product valued at constant 2011 international dollars (IMF), and female and male shares of population (World Bank). Female and male wage measures used in the computation of the gender wage ratio correspond to the mean nominal monthly earnings of female and male employees, respectively.
The earnings of employees relate to the gross remuneration in cash and in kind paid to employees, as a rule at regular intervals, for time worked or work done together with remuneration for time not worked, such as annual vacation, other type of paid leave or holidays. Earnings exclude employers’ contributions with respect to their what employees paid to social security and pension schemes as well as the benefits received by employees under these schemes. Earnings also exclude severance and termination pay. Statistics of earnings relate to the gross remuneration of employees, i.e. the total before any deductions are made by the employer.
The measurement period of this indicator corresponds to that of the wage data. In the Country Profiles, the values reported are the estimated average annual earned income per capita in constant 2011 international dollars for women and men, respectively, and the ratio of the two values."

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