Women barely make dent in the salary gap

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 July, 2011, 12:00am


Women are narrowing the pay gap with men - but not by much.

The latest survey by the Census and Statistics Department shows men still earn about 20 per cent more than women.

The median monthly salary of women - excluding overseas domestic helpers - was HK$10,000 last year, 83 per cent of the HK$12,000 median earned by men.

In 2006, women's median wage was HK$9,300 a month, 81 per cent of men's median monthly salary of HK$11,500.

'Compared [with] their female counterparts, a higher proportion of males were employed as managers, administrators and professionals', occupations that offer higher monthly earnings, the report said.

'A relatively higher proportion of females were employed in clerical and elementary occupations, which offered relatively lower monthly earnings,' the department's latest edition of 'Women and Men in Hongkong - Key Statistics' said.

The report details the status of women and men in major economic and social spheres.

In the civil service, the number of women reaching directorate level increased from 35 in 1981 to 410 last year. The proportion of women in the civil service also rose, from 25.6 per cent to 34.9 per cent, over the same period.

Of the 4,917 non-official members serving in government advisory and statutory bodies last year, 1,250, or 25.4 per cent, were women. In 2001, 19.3 per cent of the 1,147 members were women.

The report also shows that the sex imbalance in the city's population continues to worsen.

Last year, there were 3,310,500 men and 3,757,300 women in Hong Kong, which means there were 881 men for every 1,000 women.

In 2001, there were 956 men for every 1,000 women, and in 2006, the ratio fell to 912 per thousand.

Legislator and Equal Opportunities Commission member Frederick Fung Kin-kee said: 'Largely, women in Hong Kong should get equal pay for equal work. But the glass ceiling effect is still a concern. More education is needed.'

Fellow legislator Cyd Ho Sau-lan agreed. She urged the government to appoint more women to its advisory bodies.

'When there are more women than men in society, it is only natural that women should be better represented in government advisory committees so that the committees can come up with ideas that suit women's needs more,' Ho said.


The number of men for every 1,000 women in Hong Kong.

The ratio is declining:

- In 2006, it was 912

- In 2001, it was 956