Being a Woman Means 43% Less Pay Than Men on Singapore Boards

  • Largest gap at firms with a market value of over S$1 billion
  • Diversity discussion should address pay discrepancy: study

If you’re a woman and on the board of a Singapore-listed company, there’s a high chance you’re getting paid, on average, a whopping 43 percent less than your male peer, according to a study by a business school.

The largest gap was found at firms with a market capitalization of at least S$1 billion ($709 million) where the women executives earned 46 percent less than the men, according to the study by the National University of Singapore Business School released on Wednesday. Independent directors had the narrowest gap, with women making 83 percent as much as the men.

“These results are disappointing,” said Marleen Dieleman, associate professor of strategy and policy at the NUS Business School. “The discussion on board diversity in Singapore should move beyond merely increasing the percentage of female directors to also address deep-seated inequalities including remuneration and women’s share of board leadership roles.”

The NUS study was based on data from 199 firms listed on the Singapore Exchange. The number of women directors on Singapore-listed companies stood at 9.7 percent, according to the study.

Elsewhere, women in the U.K. are paid on average about 18 percent less an hour than men, a gap that’s narrowed from 23 percent in 2003, according to a report released in August by the Institute for Fiscal Studies report. In the U.S., the average woman earns almost $500,000 less than men over the course of her career, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center.

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