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Korn Ferry

Women in Asia make on average 15% less than men

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In the latest Korn Ferry Gender Pay Index, it showed that women in Asia make on average 15% less than men. In fact, the overall average gender pay gap in Asia is widest in mature markets (Australia, New Zealand) and higher than the global gap at 19.3%. For growing markets (China, India) and fast-growing markets (Indonesia, Vietnam), the gap is slightly lower at 14.4% and 11.5% respectively. When evaluating the same job level, the gap falls to 6% in mature markets, 4.9% in growing markets and 2.2% in fast growing markets.

Interestingly, when considering the same level at the same company, it seems that female employees are favoured in fast growing markets, with the average gap at -1.3%. When male and female employees at the same level and same company worked in the same function in fast growing markets, the average gap works in female employees’ favour at -3.1%.

The following table highlights results from representative nations from across the globe and shows the salary gap percentage, with most favouring men.

Korn Ferry Gender Pay Gap

“Pay parity is still a very real issue, but it’s an issue that can be addressed if there is an ongoing effort to enable, encourage and select talented women to take on and thrive in challenging roles,” said Dhritiman Chakrabarti, senior client partner, regional rewards and benefits leader for Asia Pacific, Korn Ferry Hay Group.

“Our research shows women have the skills and competencies needed to ascend to the highest levels within organisations, and it should be a business imperative for companies to help them get there,” he concluded.

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As an analysis of gender and pay for more than 12.3 million employees in 14,284 companies in 53 countries across the globe, the study found that globally, men are paid on average considerably more (16.1%) than women, which is in line with other research on the subject.

However, the Korn Ferry Gender Pay Index found that, when evaluating the same job level, such as director, the gap fell to 5.3% globally. When considering the same level at the same company, the gap further reduced to 1.5%. And when the male and female employees were at the same level and the same company and worked in the same function, the average gap amounted to 0.5%.

“Our data show that women earn about 16% less than men as a whole, which is a real, significant issue, but this doesn’t paint a complete picture,” said Bob Wesselkamper, Korn Ferry head of rewards and benefits solutions.

“While there are still a number of organisations that pay women less for the same role, on average, when we compared women and men in the same job, the gap is significantly reduced. This pay gap issue can be remedied if organisations address pay parity across the organisation and continue to strive to increase the percentage of women in the best-paying parts of the labour market, including the most senior roles and functions such as engineering and other technical disciplines,” he continued.

Lead photo / Korn Ferry

Table / Korn Ferry



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