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Singapore financial firms shrunk gender pay gap by nearly half

Commuters walk down a flight of stairs at the Fusionopolis research and development complex in Singapore, on Monday, May 16, 2016.  (Nicky Loh/Bloomberg)
Commuters walk down a flight of stairs at the Fusionopolis research and development complex in Singapore, on Monday, May 16, 2016. (Nicky Loh/Bloomberg) (Bloomberg)

By Harry Suhartono

(Bloomberg) — The gender pay gap for women working in Singapore’s finance industry narrowed to 15.6% in 2022, almost half the 27.1% gap of a decade ago, the city-state’s Ministry of Manpower said in a response to a question from a lawmaker on Tuesday.

The remaining difference between what women earn, on average, compared with their male peers, is because higher-paying, senior positions are more often held by men, the ministry said. It also cited hours worked, experience and education.

Like many of its regional peers, Singapore is struggling with a dwindling birthrate and graying population and so has begun to embrace policies designed to encourage working parents. In addition to flexible work arrangements and enhanced parental leave, the Asian financial hub also plans to introduce its first workplace fairness law in 2024.

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The proportion of women on the boards of the city’s top 100-listed companies has grown to 22.7% as of June from 15.2% at the end of 2018, according to the Council for Board Diversity. Starting with the 2024 financial year, Singapore will require listed companies to disclose compensation for CEO and directors as part of a push for greater transparency and improved corporate governance.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.