Taiwan’s gender pay gap rises to 15.8% in 2021
Male workers earned an average hourly pay of NT$361 (US$12.9) versus NT$304 (US$10.9) earned by their female counterparts last year.
The 15.8% difference, according to the Ministry of Labour (MOL), means that women in Taiwan must work 58 more days to catch up with men in terms of annual earnings.
It is for this reason that this year’s equal pay day was set on February 27 (the 58th day of the year), the ministry said in a statement, citing statistics from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.
MOL’s data showed that the difference in men and women’s hourly pay fell from 14.9% in 2019 to 14.8% in 2020 before increasing to 15.8% in 2021. It attributed the rise to a higher hourly pay increase of 4.6% given to men last year, compared with 3.3% received by women.
Over the past decade, women have received higher average annual pay hikes than men, except for last year, said Jasmine Mei, head of the ministry’s Department of Statistics.
In the hospitality/restaurant sector, where women account for 56.3% of employees, workers received a 1.2% hike in hourly pay on average because of the imposition of the COVID-19 Level 3 alert last year, while in the male-dominated manufacturing sector, male workers saw a rise of 5.5% in their hourly pay due to booming foreign trade, Mei said.
In the manufacturing sector, the gender pay gap also widened as women employed in the electronics manufacturing industry received an hourly pay rise of 6.7% last year, about half the 13.2% their male counterparts got, according to Focus Taiwan.