More women are attaining associate’s and bachelor’s degrees than men in the Cayman Islands, according to data from the 2010 Census put together by the Ministry of Community Affairs.
However, men – at almost every education level – are paid more than women, the study found.
“Previously, only suspicions or anecdotal evidence suggested pay discrimination was an issue in the Cayman Islands, but the data from the 2010 Census … reflects that pay inequalities do indeed exist between women and men at all levels,” said Cabinet Minister Mike Adam.
For example, census data shows that in 2010, on average, females were paid almost 17 per cent less than males. There were also some very large income gaps by sex and occupation, with females in elementary occupations earning an average of 64 cents for every $1 that a male earned.
The salary gap was actually larger for non-Caymanian men and women than for Caymanians. The study shows that non-Caymanian men earned about $10,000 a year more than non-Caymanian women. Caymanian men earned about $5,300 more per year than Caymanian women. In the 1999 Census, results showed that Caymanian males earned $36,551 on average compared to $27,372 for Caymanian women, so the income gap narrowed significantly by 2010. Among non-Caymanians, the average wage gender gap is more pronounced given that exactly half of all non-Caymanian women earn less than $19,199 per year.
Overall, the 2010 Census also showed that Caymanian women earned about $13,000 more per year than non-Caymanian women.
The income gap by education level was substantial; men who said they had no formal education were making an average $26,041 per year while women in that same category earned an average $15,756 a year.
At the higher end of the scale, women with university degrees earned an average $57,860 per year while men with the same qualifications earned $75,291.
According to the study, men did tend to work longer hours than women. Non-Caymanian men worked an average of 48 hours per week while Caymanian men worked an average of 37.3 hours. Compare that to non-Caymanian women who worked an average 42 hours per week and Caymanian women who worked about 31 hours per week on average.
Although overall salaries for men were higher than women, that did not hold true at every pay scale. The remaining average wage gap is the result of Caymanian men still dominating the highest income bracket – $86,400 per year or greater – and women being overrepresented in the lowest income brackets of $19,199 or less.
However, an analysis done by the Journal last year revealed that, as of late 2010, a significantly higher share of women than men (38.8 per cent of all women compared to 33.5 per cent of all men) earned between $38,400 and $86,399 per year. The figures quoted by the Journal deal only with average salaries, not relative salaries for working in the same position.
In terms of occupations during 2010, Caymanian women held a higher share of professional positions, clerical support jobs, service and sales workers, and elementary occupations. Caymanian men tended to dominate management positions, craft and trade related jobs, plant and machine operators and agriculture and fishery professions.