Mercer's Know Your Market Hub

December 2018

   Gender Pay Index

Mercer’s gender pay index measures the relativity between salaries offered to male and female staff working in the same role within the same organisation in our database. A positive value indicates the market is offering female employees salaries below those being paid to male employees in the same role, while a negative figure indicates that female employees are attracting salaries above male employees in the role. Please note: The global standard and Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) standard is for a positive value to indicate where males are being paid more.

Mercer’s remuneration database operates on a rolling basis, with organisations providing remuneration data submissions throughout the year. As a result, each month we share the overall gender pay index findings in addition to industry-specific results for those sectors for which reportable data is available.

The gender pay index for December is 2.6%. Whilst this is not the lowest reported figure of 2018, it does end the year on a positive trend downwards with an overall 0.2 percentage point drop on January’s figure of 2.8%. Although this doesn’t seem like much, it is still a movement towards gender pay equality and hopefully we continue to see this trend in 2019.

Looking at the gender pay index by career level, the head of organisation career level has seen a decrease of almost 2 percentage points, reporting an index score of -1.5% for December. Executive roles have slightly increased to 0.7%, whilst management roles have reported the highest gender pay index for December at 3.2%, replacing para-professional roles which are now reporting an index of 2.8%. Professional roles experienced the smallest movement this month with a slight decrease to 2.3%.

Career level

Median Same Incumbent Movements by Career Stream


Source: Mercer's remuneration database


The industry sectors which strongly contributed to the overall female pay inequality figure this month included agriculture (6.4%), manufacturing (4.8%), construction/engineering (4.7%), and chemical (4.3%).

This month there were no specific industries reporting higher salaries for females compared to males in the same role. However, the industries that are recording the lowest gap are education and research (0.3%) and life sciences (0.9%).

Gender pay by industry

  Gender gap %
Agriculture 6.4
Chemical 4.3
Construction/Engineering 4.7
Education and Research 0.3
Energy, Water and Utilities 1.8
Finance and Insurance 1.7
FMCG 1.7
Health Care 3.0
High-Tech 2.5
Hospitality and Recreation 1.2
Life Sciences 0.9
Manufacturing 4.8
Mining 3.9
Professional Services 3.2
Public Administration/Defence 2.3
Retail 1.5
Transport/Storage 3.0

Source: Mercer's remuneration database

Ten positions with most significant gaps in December

Negative gender gap - December 2018

Positive pay gap - December 2018

Source: Mercer's remuneration database

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