Pay gap between genders in Singapore

The pay gap between genders in Singapore saw the last improvements in 2006, not changing ever since


Although we would expect things to change and evolve, there are some aspects that don’t seem to be bothered by the passing of time. For instance, the pay gap between genders has not recorded any change or improvement in the past decade. Just like it has been since 2006, men in Singapore earn more money than women, the gap being of approximately 20% in the favor of men, even though the job requirements are the same. Unfortunately, a gap of 20% is the best case scenario, statistics showing that there are industries where this gap reached 40%, which is a rather significant difference made between genders in the workplace.

Pay Gap between Genders
Pay Gap between Genders


If you think that these are only mere assumptions, facts show that they are not. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower provided data for a study that was made on this matter, with the purpose of showing that little has changed in this sector since 2006. If back then the men used to earn, in average, $2,452 per month, the average monthly income in the case of women reached $2,053 only. Recording a 19% gender pay gap, the situation looks pretty much the same 10 years later. The data collected in 2016 shows that men earn in present days $3,991, while women make just $3,382 per month, a gender pay gap of 18% still remaining in its place. So, while income rose over the last decade, the matter of paying people based on their gender has not disappeared just yet. Of course, in comparison with Korea, a country in which men earn with 37% above what women earn, the situation is better in Singapore, although the evolution of this aspect shows no intention of changing. And there are other countries in Asia, besides Korea and Singapore, where pay gap between genders exists.


From the reports that have been made on this matter, it is impossible to tell whether the national service has a particular impact on the existence of gender pay gap. It is believed that some employees may choose to give men higher salaries as a compensation for the two years in which they served the country being enrolled in the military service as a full-time job. If this was the only problem, perhaps this gender pay gap wouldn’t have been so obvious. Looking deeper into the data collected for the report, it seems that there are certain industries that practice a far wider gender pay gap than others. What are the industries where this gender gap is most striking? Information and communication, health and social service, financial and insurance services, manufacturing, professional services, and public administration and education are the domains that record the largest gaps. In these activity domains, men can end up making with $1000 more per month than women that occupy the same positions. Still, there are two domains where women manage to earn slightly more than men, and these are storage and transportation.


In this background filled with discrepancies, there are still activity domains that practice the same salary levels in the case of women and men alike. These domains are industries with an increased need of physical labor, such as agriculture and utilities, arts, the management of waste and sewage, entertainment and recreation, and services for public support and administration. Still, even in the cases where women earn a bit more in comparison with the income made by men, we are talking about jobs where salaries range between $2,000 and $4,000 per month, hence the difference in terms of figure is not really huge.


For women end up occupying important positions in the hierarchy of a company, they will still earn much less than men, the difference between male directors and female directors reaching even 40% in their paychecks. How is this matter going to evolve in the future, no one knows for sure, because other than the studies and reports that present these facts, there is no actual plan for producing significant changes in the pay gap between genders of Singapore.





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