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Gender pay gaps

Research Study: Gender pay gaps amongst medical scheme CEOs

Every sector of the economy is undergoing transformation, which is essential for long-term viability and sustainability. The underrepresentation of black women in managerial roles is even more lacking in some of these sectors. Studies have repeatedly shown a growing pay gap and that women are underrepresented in leadership positions. The evaluation of the gender pay gap in this study was focused explicitly on Principal Officers (POs)/Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of medical schemes in South Africa. 

A subsample of 50 registered medical schemes with CEO fees (pay) exceeding R120 000 per annum made up the study population of 71 registered medical schemes. In addition to taking demographic information like gender and race into account, financial data such as CEO fees (earnings or pay) and government structure indicators like board size were also considered. Other factors considered were scheme type (sector) and scheme size. The study design was a descriptive cross-sectional analysis of medians and interquartile ranges. The necessary non-parametric tests were used to compare variables of interest. 

According to the study, white CEOs predominated in the medical scheme industry, which is heavily biased toward white male CEOs. According to the analysis, of the 50 medical schemes, there were 32 (64%) white CEOs as opposed to 18 (36%) black CEOs. The pay for CEOs increases with the size of the scheme, with large schemes paying considerably more than small schemes. The study found that the median pay of CEOs was higher in open schemes than in closed schemes. In large schemes, the pay gap between male and female CEOs was 39%; however, the pay gap in small schemes was 6%. To foster workplace equity and parity, the medical schemes sector must tackle discrepancies and adopt additional measures to diminish inequality and bridge the pay disparity between male and female CEOs. 

Download the Research Study here

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