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If not for its shiny new brand, splashed across newspapers and billboards this week, Absa stands out for another reason: the bank’s CEO, Maria Ramos, is the only female leader of a JSE top 40 company. Ramos, who earned nearly R30m in 2017, is a rarity in the boardrooms of SA’s listed firms, where women occupy an average of just 25% of executive roles, according to PwC. The professional services firm, in a study published on Thursday, found that women working for listed companies earned less than men in all major sectors. The median pay gap, not accounting for specific roles, ranged from 5% to 10%. This gap could be more extreme at the lower and higher ends of the workforce, said PwC associate director Leila Ebrahimi. "As men and women climb up the ranks, men are able to negotiate higher salaries and women may leave the workforce," she said. The rest of the economy doesn’t fare much better. The Businesswomen’s Association of SA found in its latest census that only 10% of CEOs in the ...

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