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38% of Singaporeans believe there is no gender pay gap

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It’s clear that a gender pay gap exists in Singapore, what with women earning 13% less than men according to a Glassdoor research.

That said, according to YouGov’s latest survey of 1,038 Singaporeans, 38% believed that no gender pay gap exists, and that both genders are equally paid. Digging deeper, the research found that men were more likely to think this is true than women (47% vs. 29%).

A more surprising finding was that 7% thought that men are paid less than women. Again, this belief is more predominantly held by men (13% vs. 1%).

The good news is that the majority of Singaporeans (43%) believed that women are paid less than men as a whole. Unsurprisingly, women were more likely to believe this than men (55% vs 30%).

Although most respondents (59%) agreed that a gender pay gap is unfair, this view again, differs depending on gender.

Seven in ten (69%) women find it unfair, compared to half (49%) of men. On the flip side, 9% think a gender pay gap is fair, with men three times more likely to think so than women (14% vs. 5%). The remaining three in ten (32%) Singaporeans are undecided.


When asked about the contributing reasons for a gender pay gap, the top culprit identified by Singaporeans was unconscious bias (47%).

This was followed by fewer leadership positions offered to a particular gender (47%), a particular gender not being paid as much (25%), and a particular gender working fewer hours than another gender (20%).

Other reasons identified by Singaporeans were a particular gender being less educated than another gender (17%), and a particular gender is not working as hard as another gender (15%).

Again, this Women are more likely to think a gender pay gap is due to unconscious bias (52%), while men are more likely to believe this is because a particular gender not working as hard as another gender (19% vs. 11%).

Thankfully, overall, most (68%) agreed that it is important to close the gender pay gap. A similar percentage (61%) agreed that legislation should be put in place to prevent a gender pay gap from occurring.


The survey also found that while 71% of Singaporeans claim to have some understanding of the term gender pay gap, the majority (72%) were unable to correctly identify the definition of it – that is, a gender being paid less on average than another as a whole.

Only three in ten (28%) were able to select this definition, while 62% thought the term meant a gender being paid less than another gender for doing the same job. The remaining 10% didn’t know altogether.

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov, commented: “When it comes to discussion about fair employment practices, the topic of gender pay gap often crops up. While studies have proven a gender pay gap exists in Singapore, it appears that not too many understand what this means. What is clear though is the difference in views between men and women about the topic, with women finding the issue more unjust and more pressing.”

Infographics / YouGov
Lead image / iStock

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