Singapore may be one of the world’s best places for gender equality, but a new study shows that much more can be done to achieve equal pay among the sexes.
Men continue to earn more than women in Singapore
A three-year survey conducted by Glassdoor Economic Research has found that the gender pay gap in Singapore stands at 12.8 per cent, when comparing the base pay of S$71,631 (US$52,923) for men and S$61,653 for women. The gap is 13.3 per cent in terms of total compensation.
This means that for every S$1 that men in Singapore earn, women earn only 87 cents, the report published on Wednesday (Mar 27) said.
When adjusted by age, education, work experience, company or job title specific controls, the gender pay gap in Singapore drops to 5.2 per cent, which translates to 95 cents earned for every dollar earned by men.
Singapore’s gender pay gap in comparison to other countries
Glassdoor’s study of eight nations – Australia, France, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany and the Netherlands – also found that Singapore’s adjusted gender pay gap is on par with the US and UK.
Of the eight countries surveyed, the Netherlands has the largest adjusted gender pay gap with women earning 93 cents per euro men earn.
Australia takes first place as the country with the smallest adjusted base gender pay gap, with women earning 97 cents for every dollar men earn.
Causes of the gender pay gap in Singapore
When it came to the reasons behind the gender pay gap in Singapore, Glassdoor said it found that 60 per cent of the gap could be accounted for, while the other 40 per cent remains “unexplained”.
Out of the 60 per cent that could be explained, 45 per cent was due to the differences in education and work experiences of men and women. The remaining 16 per cent was attributed to the sorting of men and women into different industries and occupations.
According to Glassdoor, the “unexplainable” 40 per cent of the gender pay gap could be due to workplace bias, negotiation gaps between male and female workers, and unobservable workplace characteristics.
Still a long way to go
Overall, the study’s findings show that there are still significant pay gaps in various parts of the world.
Glassdoor chief economist, Dr Andrew Chamberlain said both employers and government have a key role to play to narrow the gap in Singapore. This can be done by enacting policies to improve workplace transparency and eliminate entrenched gender biases at work, he added.
As an example, Dr Chamberlain suggested increasing female representation at senior levels and encouraging employers to study their own payroll data to promote more female role models in the industry and more transparent salary information.