The pay gap between men and women in Hong Kong has widened since 2011, according a report released today by the Census and Statistics Department. Men receive a mean monthly salary of HK$15,000, which is HK$2,500 more than that of women. This gap has widened by HK$500 since 2011 in spite of pledges to improve equality. “This is a massive concern” said Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing. “We’ve been fighting for equality for a long time but we still have a long way to go.” She said cultural attitudes still prevented female employees from being treated equally. “If women are earning less than men this is not because they are weaker than men, but because of discrimination,” Lau said. This figure excludes foreign domestic workers, who bring the mean salary for women down by a further HK$1,500. The minimum monthly wage for a domestic worker is HK$4,200, and there are no restrictions on the number of hours they have to work. “In public administration, social and personal services sector, the median hours of work for female employed persons was 48 hours, compared to 44 hours for their male counterparts. This was partly attributed to the relatively long working hours of foreign domestic helpers,” the report reads. Fewer Hong Kong women are employers – 21,900 in 2014 from 27,700 in 2007. But more women are striking out on their own, with the number of self-employed women increasing as the number of self-employed men has shrunk since 2014. However, the self-employed population is still dominated by men, with just over 40 per cent being women, while more women than men are employees in Hong Kong, a trend that first emerged in 2011. “Maybe women do not have the ability or the means to start their own business, which is why we have to work harder to improve that,” said Lau.