Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 288

Latest “Women and Men in Hong Kong” report reveals continued gender pay gap

Latest “Women and Men in Hong Kong” report reveals continued gender pay gap

There was a $5,000 gap in median monthly earnings between women in employment and their male counterparts in 2021, according to the latest edition of the Women and Men in Hong Kong report published by the Census and Statistics Department last month.

Specifically, the median monthly income from employment was $15,000 for women and $20,000 for men. The gap narrowed a little if foreign domestic workers are not taken into account, with the figure rising to $17,500 for women while that for men remained the same.

The difference was attributable to various factors, including the fact that a higher proportion of men worked as managers, professionals and associate professionals – positions that pay better than clerical support workers and elementary occupations, which were occupied more often by women than by men.

Additionally, approximately 605 800 women were not in the workforce because of "engagement in household duties", whereas only 34 100 men fell within the same category.

It therefore came as no surprise that the poverty rate was higher among women (8.2%) than among men (7.6%), even after policy intervention.

The EOC believes that a crucial step towards closing the gender gap is for employers to be more proactive in adopting family-friendly practices, which will help female employees with family status perform their caring and household responsibilities while remaining in the workforce. Furthermore, enhancing the representation of women in politics and public affairs would also be conducive to the formulation of policies that empower women economically. 

Click the links below to learn more about the EOC’s research on these issues.