PwC re­port high­lights gen­der, pay im­bal­ance

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Di­neo Faku

MEN CON­TINUE to dom­i­nate in chief ex­ec­u­tive roles in JSElisted com­pa­nies, ac­cord­ing to a study by PwC on trends of ex­ec­u­tive pay, which said gen­der im­bal­ance was still ev­i­dent on the bourse.

The re­port, re­leased yes­ter­day, said that the pro­file of an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor on the JSE was a white man aged 55 years.

This while 40 per­cent of to­day’s global work­force is fe­male, with women hold­ing only 5 per­cent of global chief ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions.

The num­bers were sim­i­lar in Africa where only 5 per­cent of chief ex­ec­u­tives were women, which fell far short of the de­sired tar­get of 50 per­cent to achieve gen­der equal­ity, the re­port said.

“In South Africa, JSE-listed com­pa­nies have a long way to go in achiev­ing the tar­get for fe­male chief ex­ec­u­tive. There is only one fe­male chief ex­ec­u­tive in the Top 40 JSE listed com­pa­nies,” said the re­port, re­fer­ring to Bar­clays Africa chief ex­ec­u­tive, Maria Ramos.

The sur­vey pro­filed 1 174 ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors of 360 JSElisted com­pa­nies with a com­bined mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of R14 tril­lion in the 12 months to April 2017.

It found that ex­ec­u­tives had re­ceived an av­er­age pay in­crease of 5.7 per­cent.

In the year to April, chief ex­ec­u­tives of the Top 40 listed com­pa­nies had been paid an av­er­age salary of R24.6 mil­ion. Chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cers were paid an av­er­age of R13.8m and an av­er­age R7.7m was paid to ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors, the study found.

In­creases

The av­er­age in­fla­tion in South Africa for the 2016 re­port­ing pe­riod was 6.6 per­cent up from 6.2 per­cent in 2015.

In­ter­est­ingly, ju­nior work­ers had re­ceived in­creases of 16 per­cent as many South African com­pa­nies fo­cused on their fi­nan­cial well­ness and find­ing ways to sus­tain­ably in­crease their pay.

“Go­ing for­ward, there should be a greater fo­cus on the fi­nan­cial well­ness of ju­nior work­ers and ad­dress­ing the is­sues of in­equal­ity, un­em­ploy­ment and poverty,” the re­port said.

This as South Africa’s of­fi­cial un­em­ploy­ment rate in the first quar­ter of 2017 was at a stag­ger­ing to 27.7 per­cent with the ex­tended def­i­ni­tion of un­em­ploy­ment, which in­cludes dis­cour­aged work-seek­ers, ris­ing to 36.4 per­cent.

Martin Hopkins, a com­pen­sa­tion and ben­e­fits part­ner at PwC, told jour­nal­ists in Jo­han­nes­burg yes­ter­day that com­pa­nies needed to pay a liv­ing wage.

He said a liv­ing wage was be­tween R10 000 and R12 000 a month. “Our def­i­ni­tion of a liv­ing wage is to be able to live a dig­ni­fied but fru­gal life­style,” he said, re­fer­ring to the abil­ity for em­ploy­ees to af­ford homes and ed­u­ca­tion for their chil­dren.

Hopkins also said that the gap be­tween chief ex­ec­u­tives and em­ploy­ees was an emo­tive one. “There should be a bal­ance be­tween pay moral­ity and pay ethics,” he said.

Last year there was a pub­lic out­cry when Sho­prite chief ex­ec­u­tive, Whitey Bas­son, re­ceived a whop­ping R50m bonus after 37 years of ser­vice.

“Gov­ern­ments have come un­der pres­sure to level the play­ing field by strik­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate bal­ance be­tween re­mu­ner­a­tion paid to ex­ec­u­tives and the wage con­di­tions for em­ploy­ees in lower level jobs,” said the re­port.

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