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SA ranks 19th globally for gender pay disparity

It’s women’s month. To commemorate women and equality we released our first ever gender pay gap study

According to StatsSA approximately half of the South African population is female. However, the labour absorption rate for women (the proportion of the working-age women aged 15-65 years that is employed) in South Africa is only 37% while 48% of working age men are employed. This already shows that simply more men in South Africa have jobs compared to women.

We analysed salary information from over 122 000 of our job seekers who earn between 3k and 20k per month. This analysis revealed that on average men earn 25% more than women.

The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2018 is consistent with this, showing that South African women earn R0.75 for every R1 earned by men. While this gap is alarming, South Africa is one of the most equal countries in the world – 19th out of 149 countries analysed. In fact South Africa pays its female workers more equally than some developed countries like the USA and Singapore. Further, studies confirm that the gender wage gap is larger at the bottom of the wage distribution than at the top, this shows the existence of a ‘sticky floor’ in the South African labour market.

Giraffe has partnered with the World Bank and International Financial Corporate on the Digital2Equal initiative, alongside 16 other leading tech platforms including Uber, AirBNB and Linkedin. The Digital2Equal initiative aims to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities in emerging markets.

Whilst the gap is reduced as the level of education increases, it is not eliminated. We show that the gender gap varies by industry, with hotels and retail paying women far worse than industries such as transport and IT. Finally we show that female managers earn 21% less than male managers doing effectively the same job.

Some of the major findings in this report reveal that:

  • On average South African men earn 25% more than women
  • South Africa ranks as one of the most equal paying countries in the world- 19th out of 149
  • The gender pay gap starts to widen from the age of 26 years old with the largest difference is at age 36 to 44 (33%)
  • Education decreases the gap but does not eliminate it- women with degrees will start off earning 5% less than their male colleagues
  • Women without a matric are most vulnerable to pay discrimination with an average pay gap of 33%
  • Men with limited education have better opportunities (construction, security, warehousing and transport) than women with limited education (hotels, supermarkets and restaurants).
  • The older women get, the larger the pay gap gets- likely due to childcare and exit from the workforce for a period where male peers can overtake them
  • The most unequal-paying occupations for women are: Nurse, Salesperson, Welder, Supervisor, Machine Operator and Waiter
  • The most equal paying occupations for women are Receptionist/ PA, Admin, Shop assistant, Data capturer
  • Male managers earn 21% more than female managers




About Giraffe

Giraffe is a job board that automatically screens candidates so you don’t have to. Giraffe enables South African businesses to recruit medium-skilled staff faster and more affordably than any other recruitment method. Because Giraffe has automated the boring parts of the recruitment process– candidate sourcing and screening– business owners and recruiters can focus on more important tasks like interviewing the best candidates and managing retention. Simply post a job on Giraffe. Let Giraffe automatically screen candidates as they apply. Log in, see which candidates have passed your screening, listen to their voice notes and hire the best ones! 

To post a job on Giraffe click here

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