Salary gender gap is getting bigger

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Salary gender gap is getting bigger

The salary gap between men and women workers at Kospi-listed companies is over 30 million won ($25,400) a year, according to an opposition lawmaker on Monday.

As of September, the annual salary for men working at 726 companies listed on the main bourse averaged 72.56 million won, whereas their female counterparts received an average of only 30.43 million won, said Rep. Kim Hyun-mee, a lawmaker with the New Politics Alliance for Democracy.

The gender disparity at the 1,031 companies listed on the secondary Kosdaq exchange was smaller, at 10 million won. Male employees earned an average 46.36 million won compared to the average 30.31 million won female workers were paid.

“The salary gap seems to originate from the fact that women usually have their careers suspended due to childbirth and child rearing,” Rep. Kim said. “More social and state-level
support will be needed for working women.”

The income disparity between men and women gets higher as they climb the corporate ladder - clear evidence of a so-called “glass ceiling” for women, even in a country that elected its first female president.

Comparison of the salary level among employees in the top 1 percent of the corporate hierarchy shows male executives received an average 355.8 million won a year, more than double the amount of women’s 146.1 million won average.

Separate data from the National Tax Service showed the salary gap between men and women actually worsened between 2008 and 2013. During the global financial meltdown in 2008, female workers’ average income in Korea amounted to 67 percent of their male counterparts.

But 2013 data shows the percentage fell to 64.6 percent. Salary increases were also slower for women than men over the same period. While men saw their incomes rise 8.8 percent during the five-year time span, women saw a mere 5 percent rise.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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