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For every S$1 a man earned in Singapore since 2016, a woman earned about S$0.87 (data unadjusted for further statistical controls). In fact, taking into account the median base pay earned, a gender pay gap of 12.8% (unadjusted) in base salaries currently exists in the country.
This was revealed in Glassdoor Economic Research’s Progress on the Gender Pay Gap: 2019 report, which studied the difference in salaries between men and women from eight countries – the UK, US, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and, for the first time, Singapore.
As part of the study in Singapore, 5,096 salaries reported by full-time Singaporean employees aged over 16 were sampled from 2016 to 2018. When the average annual base salaries were calculated (unadjusted), women earned S$61,653, about S$9,978 less than men (S$71,631).
The unadjusted gender pay gap for total compensation in Singapore is slightly higher, at 13.3%. However, when adjusted after comparing workers of the same age, job title, employer, location and other factors, the gender pay gap for base salary becomes 5.2%, and 6.0% for total compensation.
Note: According to the report, the unadjusted pay gap explains the overall difference between pay for men and women, while applying statistical controls for a more apples-to-apples comparison is known as the adjusted pay gap.
Why does this gender pay gap exist?
To determine the reasons for the gender pay gap, the report states the gap can be divided into two portions: firstly, the portion that is explained by differences by in worker characteristics including age, education level and more. The second portion remains unexplained due either to unobserved factors or subtle forms of workplace discrimination.
In terms of what can be explained, of the overall 12.8% gender gap in base salary, 7.7% (60% of the total gap) is explained by differences in worker characteristics. The remaining 5.1% (40% of the total gap) is unexplained.
Out of the estimated 60% of the gender pay gap that can be explained, 16% is due to men and women working in different industries and occupations. Additionally, 45% is due to difference in education and experience levels between men and women – in other words, individual workers’ characteristics.
How does Singapore fare against the seven other countries?
Singapore falls somewhere in the middle, with women earning S$0.95 for every S$1 men earned after an adjustment. This brought the country on par with the US and the UK, which had a gender pay gap of 4.9% and 5.0% respectively.
Overall, Australia had the smallest adjusted gender pay gap, with women earning AU$0.97 for every AU$1 men earned, and a gap of 3.1%.
France and Canada followed after, while Germany and Netherlands were at the bottom.
View the full report with all eight countries’ details here.
All images / Glassdoor Economic Research