Despite continuing to prove a much-discussed subject across the entire employment spectrum, the difference in the salaries men and women earn across the Asia-Pacific's travel, tourism, hospitality and lifestyle industry sectors does not appear to be narrowing and if anything is gradually widening according to a major employment trends report released earlier.
Initiated by ACI HR Solutions, the 2017 'Salary & Employment Trends Report' underlines that while female executives are seen to be making inroads toward professional equality, their male counterparts continue to earn substantially more.
ACI Founder & CEO, Andrew Chan said while the subject of professional equality remains a hot topic and much has been said about bridging the gap, the disparity between male and female salaries continues to widen.
"Surprisingly, given the amount of discussion and coverage professional equality receives, and some of our clients having wonderful initiatives implemented, not only have we not seen the gap narrow, but over the past three years we have actually seen it widen from 48% in 2015 to 55% in 2016," Mr Chan said.
"While the gap appears large, drilled down the 55% isn't a position vs position gap – the 55% represented our overall survey, which actually highlights the disparity in the number of women holding senior positions.
"The graph that best describes this in the report is the one that indicates the age of respondents by gender showing far less female respondents as the age group increases.
"This ultimately shows us, irrespective of the salary component, there are far less females holding senior positions across these industry sectors in roles such as general managers and CEOs."
Now in its fifth year and attracting more than 700 respondents across the employment spectrum - from front line sales consultants to CEO's and managing directors - the highly-detailed report has again provided a comprehensive and valuable insight into all aspects of the region's salary and employment trends.
The importance of higher education with more qualified employees earning substantially than their lesser qualified counterparts also came to the fore, the report showing degree holders earn an average of 7% more than diploma holders and those holding master degrees earn a further 25% per cent more.
But on a positive note, feedback from employers - and indicative of optimism across the various sectors surveyed – 40% of hiring managers said they expect new headcounts in 2017.
As in previous years, the core of the ACI Report provides valuable insight into salary satisfaction and progression.
From the perspective of salary satisfaction, 60% of respondents indicated they had received some form of increment with the majority (45%) in the range of a 1-5% increase, this figure dramatically down from the 2016 result when 77% of respondents indicated a bump in pay.
Respondents were also asked for their salary expectations if considering a new job offer - 56% of respondents indicated they expected a greater than 10% salary increase before making a switch, this figure down from the 67% surveyed in 2016 who sought the same amount.
The importance of career development and employee satisfaction also remained similar to previous years with 64% of respondents indicating career progression was either 'extremely important' or 'very important'. This compared to 69% in 2016.
The residual 29% indicated their career prospects with their current employers were 'low' and even 'zero'.