updated 12 Feb 2010, 15:57
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Fri, Feb 12, 2010
The China Post/Asia News Network
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Female workers suffer serious salary discrimination

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The average starting salary for female workers in Taiwan is about 18 per cent lower than the average for their male counterparts, according to the results of a survey released yesterday.

As years go by in the workplace, the salary gap between female and male workers continues to widen, and in seven to nine years from now, the gap may have widened to some 30.6 per cent, the poll, conducted by 1111 Job Bank last year, found.

The poll, conducted over the whole of 2009, found that although both male and female workers in Taiwan suffered from declining salaries last year, the starting salary for male workers averaged NT$29,711 (S$1,313) per month, while that for female workers averaged NT$25,066, representing a gap of 18 per cent.

The average monthly salary increased to NT$39,681 for males five to seven years into their jobs, while that for their female counterparts climbed to an average of just NT$30,971, a gap of 28 per cent.

Seven to nine years into their jobs, males received an average monthly salary of NT$41,846, compared to NT$32,403 for females, representing a gap of 30.59 per cent, according to the poll.

Henry Ho, public relations director of the 1111 Job Bank, said most males work in technical or engineering fields or hold core positions in the workplace, while most females are given service or support jobs, facts that contribute to the salary gap and the disproportionate increases over the years.

In addition, Ho said, pregnancy and family care also contribute to hinder females' career prospects.

Finding ways to narrow the salary gap and observe workplace gender equality remain issues that need to be tackled by both the government and the private sectors, Ho added.

The survey also found that the starting monthly salary averaged NT$38,939 for first-time workers with a master's degree in 2009, marking a year-on-year decline of 9.49 per cent.

The starting salary averaged NT$27,150 per month for first-time workers with a college diploma, representing a decline of 5.93 per cent year on year, the survey found.

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