Women in South Africa earn 25% less than their male counterparts, on average.

This is one of the findings from a gender pay gap study by automated recruitment platform Giraffe.

Giraffe partnered with the World Bank and International Financial Corporate on the Digital2Equal initiative, alongside 16 other leading tech platforms including Uber, AirBNB and Linkedin. The Digital2Equal initiative aims to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities in emerging markets.

The company analysed its database of close to 1-million candidates to generate an accurate representation of the pay gaps between male and female South African workers.

Most gender pay gap studies in South Africa have found that the gap is generally larger at the bottom of the wage distribution curve. Giraffe’s report largely focuses on the general working South African labour force and largely excludes highly-skilled workers and senior executives.

The study confirms that, on average, women in South Africa earn on average 25% less than men.

While the gap is reduced as the level of education increases, it is not eliminated.

The study shows that the gender gap varies by industry, with hotels and retail paying women far worse than industries such as transport and IT.

In addition, it findings show that female managers earn 21% less than male managers doing effectively the same job.

Among the major findings in the report reveal are:

* On average South African women earn 25% less than men.

* South Africa ranks as one of the most equal paying countries in the world – 19th out of 149;

* The gender pay gap starts to widen from the age of 26 years old with the largest difference is at age 36 to 44 (33%).

* Education decreases the gap but does not eliminate it – women with degrees will start off earning 5% less than their male colleagues.

* Women without a matric are most vulnerable to pay discrimination with an average pay gap of 33%.

* Men with limited education have better opportunities (construction, security, warehousing and transport) than women with limited education (hotels, supermarkets and restaurants).

* The older women get, the larger the pay gap gets – likely due to childcare and exit from the workforce for a period where male peers can overtake them.

* The most unequal-paying occupations for women are: nurse, salesperson, welder, supervisor, machine operator and waiter.

* The most equal paying occupations for women are receptionist/PA, admin, shop assistant, data capturer.

* Male managers earn 21% more than female managers.

“A key pillar for redressing pay discrimination is transparency,” explains Siobhan Zurnamer, who led the research at Giraffe. “Employers can address the pay gap in a manner that generates upside for the business as well as employees.”