Report: Gender Pay Gap in China Varies Widely among Industries, Regions

November 15, 2016
By Beijing TimesEditor: Penny Huang

In China, the average woman earns 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, and the gender wage gap varies from region to region, according to the latest national Gender Pay Gap Report.

According to data from a Chinese professional website BossZhipin in 2016, working women's average pre-tax income is 4,449 yuan (U.S.$ 652) per month, 22.3 percent lower than that of men.

Besides, a wider gender pay gap occurs in higher-paid positions. The report implied that women are over-represented at the lower end of the pay scale and under-presented among the higher-earning workers.

Looking at the entire workforce, about 70 percent of employers' monthly wages range from 2,000-6,500 yuan (U.S.$ 290-950) whereas the workforce with a monthly wage of at least 5,000 yuan (U.S.$ 733) is overwhelming male.

Findings from the survey also suggest that various explanations lead to the gender pay segregation.

Precisely, differences among industries where the most people are employed are the largest factor for the gender pay disparity in China. High-paying positions such as those in healthcare, IT, and other positions with proficiency and high-intensity such as engineering and mining, all feature a higher gender ratio imbalance.

Furthermore, the report indicates that industrial categories and regional differences explain 38 percent of the overall gender pay gap, following by differences in education and the amount of experience held between men and women, accounting for 18 percent.

Employers working in 1st tier urban areas experience the narrowest gender pay gap, whereas the income differences are widened among workforce in 3rd and 4th tier cities.

Despite the above factors resolving about 56 percent of the pay gap between men and women, the remaining 44 percent is still unexplainable, perhaps owing to unconscious gender bias, experts suggest.

The top four industries – healthcare, testing and certification, media and television, and mobile internet, have the largest gender wage gap, with women's average pay some 30 percent lower than men's, say the report's authors.

This points to a still-existing glass ceiling in the country's job market and shows there is still more to be done to promote equal pay in the same positions.

(Source: Beijing Times/ Translated and edited by Women of China)

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