Women in South Africa earn 25% less than men

2019-08-09 14:23

To commemorate Women’s Month, Giraffe, the automated recruitment platform for medium-skilled staff, has released its findings from a gender pay gap study. It analysed its database of close to 1 million candidates to generate an accurate representation of the pay gaps between men and women in South Africa.

Most gender pay gap studies in South Africa have found that the gap is generally larger at the bottom of the wage distribution curve. Giraffe’s report mostly focuses on the general working South African labour force and largely excludes highly skilled workers and senior executives. It confirms that, on average, women in South Africa earn 25% less than men.

While the gap is reduced as the level of education increases, it is not eliminated. The report shows that the gender gap varies by industry, with hotels and retail paying women far worse than industries such as transport and information technology.

Finally, it shows that managers who are women earn 21% less than men who do the same job.

Some of the major findings in the report reveal that:
  • South Africa is one of the most equal paying countries in the world – it is 19th out of 149 countries;
  •  The gender pay gap starts to widen from the age of 26, with the largest difference being between the ages of 36 and 44 (33%);
  •  Education decreases the gap, but does not eliminate it – women with degrees will start off earning 5% less than their male colleagues;
  •  Women without a matric are most vulnerable to pay discrimination, with an average pay gap of 33%;
  •  Men with limited education have better opportunities (construction, security, warehousing and transport) than women with limited education (hotels, supermarkets and restaurants);
  •  The older women get, the larger the pay gap gets. This is most likely due to exiting the workforce to give birth and care for the child or children, giving male peers a prime opportunity   The most unequal paying occupations for women are in nursing, sales, welding, supervising, machine operating and waitering; and
  •  The most equal paying occupations for women are receptionist or personal assistant, admin, shop assistant and data capturer.

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