Singaporean female execs earn 35% less than males

Some earn only half of their male colleagues, says the Ministry of Manpower

Singaporean female execs earn 35% less than males

Depending on the occupation, women in senior positions in Singapore earn between 35% to 50% lesser than men, found the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

Overall, the median monthly salary of a woman in full-time work was 9% (or $410) less than a man in full-time work.

Last month, MOM published data of the differences in median wages across about 130 common occupations as at June 2017.

High-paying jobs with the largest pay gap were specialist medical practitioners — women earned 49.7% less than men, while policy and planning managers earned 42.1% less. A managing director or chief executive earned about 36% less.

Some experts believe the gap is likely due to more women taking a career break to look after their families, which results in them having less training and work experience.

The longer the period spent away from work, the harder it is for women to negotiate for a better position or higher pay, said Randstad Singapore managing director Jaya Dass.

Mercer Singapore partner Godelieve van Dooren said some organisations pay men who join after National Service higher starting wages, but do not pay women higher salaries when they come back from career breaks to take care of children. This may hurt women further in their career.

Additionally, a greater share of men take time out of work to attend training compared to women, said Corinna Lim, executive director at the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE).

“If women drop out of the workforce prematurely or do not attend as much training as men because of household responsibilities, there will be more male medical specialists and managing directors, and they are likely to earn more money,” she said.

She added that the gender gap in mean pay is actually much larger, probably because there are more men with high pay and more women with low pay. There are close to 1.5 times more men than women who earn over $12,000 a month.

To correct the pay gap, experts say the key is to regularly take stock of pay and compen-sate employees based on performance and the role they fulfil, according to The Straits Times.

Van Dooren said some firms avoid asking candidates for previous salaries to reset any dif-ferences, and decide pay based on experience and the size of the role.

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