Report decodes gender pay gap in Asia’s real estate industry

The inequality percentage is the highest during the 'motherhood years' for both bonuses and total cash compensation, according to ANREV and Aurex Group’s compensation report.

Although men outnumber women by a relatively small margin in the Asia-Pacific region, the gulf between genders widens considerably when it comes to compensation, according to a new compensation survey.

The inaugural APAC Compensation and Employee Sentiments Market Intelligence Report 2021 – jointly published by industry organization ANREV and real estate recruitment specialist Aurex Group – surveyed 2,018 unlisted real estate investment management professionals in Asia-Pacific, of which 56.6 percent were male and 43.4 percent were female. Respondents indicated a gender pay gap across seniority, job grade, platform, employer type, location, basic salary, bonus, long-term incentive plans (such as employee shares and carried interest), annual leave entitlement and health insurance coverage.

Private real estate’s -7 percent inequality margin in basic salary outperforms a wider APAC benchmark, the report stated. Inequality margin refers to the disparity between females and males in the size and receipt of various forms of compensation, with a negative inequality margin being unfavorable for women.

However, the overall inequality margin for total annual cash compensation and bonuses is -10 percent and -17 percent, respectively. The percentage is the highest during the “motherhood years” for both categories. The job grades of associate to senior vice-president fall within the definition of “motherhood years,” which broadly refers to the maternity, return to work and early childhood support years.

The biggest inequality margin in the region can be found in the long-term incentive plans category. According to the report, females are on average 53 percent less likely than men to receive such remuneration across Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mainland China and Japan. When they do receive it, the value of their awards is 50 percent lower than that of their male counterparts on average.

Among platform types, European institutional managers fared the worst in terms of both LTIP receipt and reward value with an inequality margin of up to -70 percent and -71 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, sovereign wealth and direct investors had the lowest inequality margin for LTIP receipt at -28.9 percent and also returned a positive inequality margin for LTIP award values at 37.1 percent.