Women in India earn 20% less than men: Monster Salary Index

As India readies to celebrate International Women’s Day, Monster India, (www.monsterindia.comone of the leading online career and recruitment solutions providers in the country, released its latest ‘Monster Salary Index’ (MSI) highlighting the key aspects around gender. This index is complimented with the key findings from the second annual survey titled Women of India Inc. also undertaken by Monster.com.


Monster Salary Index- Gender pay gap:


Source: WageIndicator Foundation

The MSI data from 2017 indicates that the current gender pay gap in India stands at 20%where men earned a median gross hourly salary of Rs. 231, in comparison, women earned only Rs. 184.8. The gap has narrowed by about five percentage points from 24.8% in 2016 however, the good news ends here. The 2017 MSI data suggests that gender pay gap in India increases with work experience. While men with 0-2 years of experience, earned 7.8% higher median wages than women, men with 6-10 years of experience, earned 15.3% more. Men with 11 and more years of experience earned 25% higher median wages than women. Interestingly, there is a marginally inverted pay gap in the experience group of 3-5 years, where women are earning more.


Sharing his views on the findings of the latest MSI, Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO, Monster.com- APAC & Gulf said“Let’s not get carried away with the narrowing gender pay gap revealed by the 2017 MSI because the gender pay gap in India widens as one gains work experience. Moreover, the overall gender pay gap of 20% is still a daunting number.


The scenario of gender pay parity is far from desired in India, especially when the country is gearing towards greater economic growth. However, before expecting a change in the pay parity policy, attitudes of men and women need to shift for this to become a reality. One thing that came to my attention from theMonster Women of India Inc. survey, was that as high as 40% women expressed that men fear being judged by their male peers and choose to support gender equality only in private. Also, 40% women feel men simply do not know what to do or say. The bright side is that 44% men confirm that they can be effective advocates for gender initiative programs at workplace.”


Women of India Inc. survey:

The Women of India Inc. survey by Monster.com was aimed at understanding the working women of India and their workplace concerns broadly were categorised under the parameters of- diversity, career growth and safety. This survey was conducted on Monster India’s database capturing responses from about 5500 working women (3100+) and men (2300+).


The “Women of India Inc.” survey witnessed maximum share of participation from Delhi NCR at 24%, followed by Mumbai (22%) and Bangalore at 20%. The participation from non-metros was at 36%.


Top challenges as working women; men and women disagree

Women highlighted the top challenges for working women as:

  1. ‘‘inadequate travel and transport facilities’’ (41%)
  2. “attitude of clients/ distributors/ vendors/ colleagues” (33%)
  3. “societal perception of women who work long hours” (32%)
  4. “not easily considered for top management roles” (32%)
  5. “not given responsibilities or promotions as per their calibre” (29%)
  6. “getting paid less for the same amount of work” (27%)
  7. “lack of proper childcare” (20%)


Responses from men disagreed on many of these aspects. For example, only 10% men, as compared to 27% women, highlighted getting paid less than men as a challenge. Similarly, only 13% men highlighted women were “not being considered for top management roles” as a top challenge. 




#HeforShe beyond closed doors
In an eye-opener, 44% men confirm that they can be effective advocates for change for gender initiative programs at workplace. Even 39% women think the same. However, 40% women do feel that men are allies of gender equality only in private because they fear being judged by their other male peers or simply don’t know what to do around these issues (40%).


No more #MeToo

Despite women calling out (84%) safety as a key parameter while choosing a job and highlighting the lack of it as a top hindrance, about only half (48%) of the organisations take care of their safety if they were leaving late from work. Understandably, half of the women (50%) do not feel safe/ prefer to work night shifts.


From dough-makers to dough-earners

In terms of the reasons for working, 36% women believe they must contribute to family income whereas 18% women respondents work as they are the sole breadwinner of the family. However, some 27% women feel why they are even questioned on their reason to work.


The battle of biological and career cycle

Since equal number of men and women brought out lack of childcare facility at work as one of the challenges for working women, unanimously 70% of them welcome the Maternity Bill affirming that it will give new mothers time to adapt their new lives and return to work. But 53% women reveal that their organisations do not offer flexible work structure. A whopping, 77% respondents also feel that crèche facility will increase willingness to return to work post maternity.


Lead by example- Captain, Oh Captain!

A majority of respondents (69%) feel that gender parity needs to be a top priority for organisations. However, 68% respondents expressed that even if gender parity is a priority, the management does not “walk the talk”.  Therefore, it is not surprising that only 10% organisations have a robust gender diversity program.


About 36% of all respondents indicated that there is a need for India Inc. to step up and implement pragmatic policies to bridge the pay gap and change employee perception for healthy work culture (44%) and foster equal opportunities (17%).


Commenting on the MSI, Paulien Osse, Director WageIndicator Foundation said, “The report is the result of an extensive methodical research undertaken across eight key sectors in India with an aim to empower recruiters and jobseekers to analyze salaries through a credible platform. It provides a view across a broad spectrum of industry domains, experience as well as functional groups.”

Talking about the MSI, Prof. Biju Varkkey of IIM-Ahmedabad said, “The study aimed at understanding salaries and related trends better, is a credible repository backed by data and elaborate understanding of the Indian job market.”