The pay gap between men and women in Singapore has narrowed over the last decade and a half, but females are still over-represented in roles with lower wage increases, a study showed.
The gender pay differential, adjusted for age and education level, was 6 percent in 2018 compared with 8.8 percent in 2002, according to research by the Ministry of Manpower and National University of Singapore economist Jessica Pan. Similar analyses in other countries showed gaps of 8 percent in the U.S., 7.7 – 8.3 percent in Canada and 18.3 percent in China, the study showed.
While the employment rate for women in Singapore rose to 78 percent from 62.2 percent over the period and more women are now in professional and managerial roles, higher-paying roles are still male-dominated.
Occupational differences accounted for nearly half of the pay gap, with jobs such as company heads and software developers more likely to be filled by men, and women in more positions where salary advances are less, the study showed.
One other sign of progress: education. In 2002, only 36 percent of women had at least a diploma qualification — in 2018, the number had nearly doubled to 71 percent, the study found.
Disparity between the genders is a worldwide phenomenon. The economic gender gap will take 257 years to close, the World Economic Forum said in a report last month. That’s even more than the 202 years it predicted in 2018.