A survey conducted by Glassdoor Economic Research has found that the gender pay gap in Singapore stands at 12.8 percent when comparing the base pay of S$71,631 for men and S$61,653 for women. The gap is 13.3 percent in terms of total compensation.
When adjusted by age, education, work experience, company or job title specific controls, the gender pay gap in Singapore drops to 5.2 percent, which translates to 95 cents earned for every dollar earned by men.
Singapore’s adjusted gender pay gap is on par with the US and UK, finds the Glassdoor’s study of eight nations. Of the eight countries surveyed, the Netherlands has the largest adjusted gender pay gap with women earning 93 cents per euro men earn. Australia takes first place as the country with the smallest adjusted base gender pay gap, with women earning 97 cents for every dollar men earn.
Causes of the gender pay gap in Singapore
Glassdoor said it found that 60 percent of the gap could be accounted for, while the other 40 percent remains “unexplained”.
Out of the 60 percent that could be explained, 45 percent was due to the differences in education and work experiences of men and women. The remaining 16 percent was attributed to the sorting of men and women into different industries and occupations.
According to Glassdoor, the “unexplainable” 40 percent of the gender pay gap could be because of workplace bias, or negotiation gaps between male and female workers.
The way forward
The presence of a gender pay gap is universal among all eight countries Glassdoor analyzed. The unadjusted pay gap ranges from a high of 22.3 percent in Germany to a low of 11.6 percent in France, while the adjusted pay gap ranges from a high of 6.6 percent in the Netherlands to 3.1 percent in Australia. The progress, however, on the gender pay gap in the last three years is encouraging, says the study. But sustained action from business, government and individuals will be required to meet our most optimistic projections of closing the gap within the next twenty years, says the study.
Policies that promote paid family leave and invest in educational programs to encourage women and minorities to enter STEM fields can help reduce occupational segregation of men and women into differently paying jobs, adds the study.
Ultimately, progress on the gender pay gap will require time and sustained effort. Whether through improved salary transparency, more flexible workplace policies, more comprehensive paid family leave, or company pay disclosure requirements, closing the pay gap will require action from policymakers, employers, and job seekers alike, concludes the study.