Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Women represent just 20% of senior management and executives in SA. PwC made the finding in a recent survey of the pay data of 550 organisations‚ including 4‚000 senior managers and executives.

In 2008‚ Norway made it obligatory for listed companies to reserve at least 40% of their director seats for women or face dissolution. "In the following five years‚ more than a dozen countries set similar quotas at 30% to 40%. In Belgium‚ France and Italy‚ too‚ firms that fail to comply can be fined‚ dissolved or banned from paying existing directors. Germany‚ Spain and the Netherlands prefer soft-law quotas with no sanctions‚" PwC director Rene Richter said.

The survey also found that 61% of women were paid less than the median of the sample‚ compared to 39% of men. In contrast‚ 63% of males were remunerated above the median.

"It is clear that corporate SA still needs to focus on ensuring that female numbers are increased at these levels in addition to addressing gender pay inequalities."

The gender pay gap is described as the difference between the average wages that men and women earn‚ irrespective of their seniority.

Equal pay is described as "a different concept but is a connected issue".

"Equal pay is about pay differences between men and women‚ who are paid differently for ‘like work’‚ ‘work of equal value’ or ‘work rated as equivalent’‚" said Richter.

The company said there was an increased focus on pay disparities between men and women, globally.

"In many countries‚ organisations are required to report on the gender pay gap. Although this is not yet the case in SA‚ numerous organisations have taken steps to identify pay disparities at all levels."

Richter said sustainable change needed to stem from underlying changes within organisations.

"We’re already seeing how the catalyst of gender pay reporting is helping to concentrate minds on how to build diversity and inclusion into a more compelling employee value proposition, in areas ranging from talent development and succession planning to flexible working and work-life balance‚" Richter said.