The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) stated on Thursday (Jan 9) that women earn 6 per cent less than men for similar work in Singapore.
The ministry conducted a study on the gender pay gap (GPG) in Singapore, which reviewed the extent and trends in female participation in the labour market, and found that the adjusted GPG figure was at 6 per cent in 2018.
The latest adjusted GPG figure has narrowed over time, from 8.8 per cent in 2002. The ministry said that its analysis showed that the differing representation of men and women in higher/lower paying occupations is a key driver of the gender wage gap.
It added that the 6 per cent GPG figure exists even after adjustment since the
study methodology was unable to account for some factors like job level, work experience and care-giving responsibilities.
The ministry said that “women’s propensity to play the primary role in care-giving and take time off work for parenting leads to lags in work experience, career progression and hence earnings”.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo echoed this view as she commented on the study on her Facebook page and attributed the fact that women still earn slightly less than men to their tendency to be the primary care-givers in families, resulting in less pay and less work experience.
She said: “To help shift such social norms, we encourage shared care-giving responsibilities through shared parental leave and promoting progressive workplace practices.
“While our adjusted GPG is lower than other developed countries such as the United States of America and Canada, we can always do more.”
Appreciating the efforts of organisations like the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore that encourage members to build inclusive workplaces, she added: “Employers have to do their part so that employees can continue meet their work and family responsibilities, without having to choose one over the other. Together, we can create more family-friendly workplaces.”
Read the MOM’s report on the adjusted GPG here.