BossZhipin: China's gender pay gap widened in 2018

Published : Thursday, March 7, 2019, 12:02 am
ACROFAN=PRNewswire | | SNS

BEIJING, March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The average salary of Chinese women was 78.2% of working men in 2018, according to the latest research released on Wednesday by online recruiting platform BossZhipin. The gender pay gap in China is widened by 8.7 percentage points over the previous year, largely attributed to the increased gap between men and women in the high-income group, according to the research.

Position, industry, and working years are the top three factors that affect the gender pay differences, while education level of women plays a positive role in reducing the differences.

Job position is the top factor to explain the gender pay gap. Influenced by social economic factors, social norms and stereotypes, men are more inclined to take roles with high intensity and uncertainties, such as technology or sales. Women tend to work in administrative, operational, and market-oriented roles, with moderate pay and limited promotion chances.

The proportion of female in top 15 high-paying jobs in 2018
The proportion of female in top 15 high-paying jobs in 2018

In recent years, even though a significantly increasing number of women have been working STEM-related jobs and taking senior management roles, the male-female ratio in major high-paying positions still remains significantly imbalanced.

Top 15 industries with the biggest pay gap in 2018
Top 15 industries with the biggest pay gap in 2018

Apart from strategic consultant and securities analysts, there are less than 30 percent of women in the other 13 positions among the top 15 high-paying jobs in 2018. Women took less than 20 percent of popular AI and big data related jobs, including machine learning scientists, deep learning engineers or data architects, which consequently led to a wider gender pay gap in those categories. As pay level of senior technology positions continued to soar, income advantage of men is expected to further increase in related fields, according to the report.

The research found that engineering and manufacturing industries, such as mining and smelting, have the largest gender pay gaps. In these areas, men have long held a dominant position due to their physiological and social advantages. Tech industries like the Internet, medical care and electronic communications have created more equal working environment for women, however, the pay gap is still expanding as more men in these fields are engaged in higher paying positions.

Male and Female Income Differentiation in 2018: by years
Male and Female Income Differentiation in 2018: by years

The data pointed out that green hands have the smallest gender pay gap, at about 10 percent in the first three working years. The gender pay gap is gradually widened afterwards, as marriage, childbirth and family affairs began to create more burdens for women. The return rate of working years is significantly lower than that of men, and this differentiation will further accelerate with age.

According to official data from the Ministry of Education, the proportion of female students pursuing bachelor's and master's degrees has exceeded 50 percent for seven consecutive years from 2010 to 2016. Higher education enables women to choose from a wider range of jobs in their career and therefore enjoy higher income. BossZhipin's research found that the average salary of women with a master's degree or above is 68% higher than that of women with an undergraduate degree or below. The difference is 61% in the male group, which suggests that education can bring positive changes for women in their professional development.

Additionally, when people are asked about "the main reasons that hinder women from being promoted" in BossZhipin's Workplace Gender Difference Survey, respondents believe that the top three factors are "women have to spend more energy to take care of their family" and "women are lack of networking resources and social support" and "women are lack of senior management skills".

As a professional service platform, BossZhipin advocates equal opportunities for women. The report encouraged women to break gender stereotypes and make correct assessments of their own values. Organizations should also be aware that diversified corporate environment can play a key role in organizational performance. More importantly, the society should fully affirm the value created by women in childbearing, breastfeeding and family labor, and provide women with equal employment rights and welfare.

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