SA coloureds earn least

Black pro­fes­sion­als have the high­est salaries, sur­vey finds

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - BUSINESS - ME­LANIE PETERS

COLOUREDS have the least earn­ing po­ten­tial in the coun­try on av­er­age, men still have the up­per hand in the work­place and black pro­fes­sion­als earn the most.

This is ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of the third an­nual Ca­reers24 sur­vey re­leased this week. The study is based on re­sponses from 13 583 on­line South Africans.

It found coloureds have the least earn­ing po­ten­tial in the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to the de­mo­graph­ics, the av­er­age salary of coloureds was R13 489, com­pared to In­di­ans at R14 099, black Africans at R17 296 and whites at R19 998.

Con­sis­tent with this find­ing, coloureds re­ceived among the low­est salary in­creases in the pe­riod 2008 to 2009 at 5.65 per­cent, ver­sus whites at 8.43 per­cent and black Africans at 8.11 per­cent.

When it comes to job lev­els, coloureds were con­cen­trated in the ju­nior man­age­ment level at 29 per­cent and were the least likely to have a diploma at 28.12 per­cent, or a bach­e­lor de­gree at 11.13 per­cent, but the most likely to have a cer­tifi­cate at 12.71 per­cent.

In the bat­tle of the sexes, men ap­pear to still have the up­per hand in the work­place, earn­ing 65 per­cent more than women.

Ca­reers24 busi­ness man­ager Michelle Bis­aro says: “This year’s study iden­ti­fied those is­sues which pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively im­pact em­ploy­ees’ work­ing en­vi­ron­ments and, in turn, their per­for­mance and like­li­hood to go the ex­tra mile or seek al­ter­na­tive em­ploy­ment.”

The sur­vey found in­ter­est­ing dif­fer­ences among the de­mo­graph­ics and sec­tors, sug­gest­ing staff were, at times, dis­sat­is­fied with their work­ing en­vi­ron­ment de­spite many or­gan­i­sa­tions’ com­mit­ment to counter this.

She said: “It’s still a man’s world, as men earned, on aver- age, 65 per­cent more than women. This was re­gard­less of lo­ca­tion, level, qual­i­fi­ca­tion or age and was most likely due to the fact women leave their jobs to have chil­dren.

“More and more women are re-en­ter­ing the job mar­ket in their early 40s at ju­nior man­age­ment. This puts women at a

‘Men still ap­pear to have the up­per hand in the work­place’

dis­ad­van­tage to men, be­cause when she takes a few years off to raise her chil­dren, men con­tinue to gain ex­pe­ri­ence. It also ac­counts for the fact men con­tinue to dom­i­nate top man­age­ment po­si­tions.”

To counter this trend, Bis­aro sug­gested women ar m them­selves with short-course cer­tifi­cates be­fore re-en­ter­ing the job mar­ket.

“With a cer­tifi­cate women could ear n 20 per­cent more than men who have been in the same po­si­tions for dou­ble the length of time. In­dus­tries where this is ev­i­dent in­clude le­gal, prop­erty, in­sur­ance, ad­min­is­tra­tion and NGOs.”

The sur­vey showed In­di­ans re­ceived the low­est salary in­creases. In­di­ans re­ceived in­creases of 0.33 per­cent. This is com­pared to coloureds at 5.65 per­cent, black Africans at 8.11 per­cent and whites at 8.43 per­cent.

In­ter­est­ingly, when asked if they were will­ing to put in ex­tra ef­fort for their or­gan­i­sa­tion, In­di­ans re­sponded the most favourably. When it came to per­ceived racial equal­ity, black Africans felt the most threat­ened by In­di­ans, and the more In­di­ans there were in an in­dus­try sec­tor, the more con­cerned they were about com­mit­ments to racial equal­ity.

The sur­vey said while whites were the high­est earn­ers from the age of 31 – with the av­er­age salary be­ing R19 998 com­pared to blacks at R17 296, In­di­ans at R14 099 and coloureds at R13 489 – black man­agers over 50 could have the most earn­ing po­ten­tial, eclips­ing all other de­mo­graph­ics.

“Among over-50s, black pro­fes­sion­als on av­er­age ear n R28 000 a month com­pared to their white peers who earn R25 500,” says Bis­aro.

This trend could be at­trib­uted to em­ploy­ment eq­uity poli­cies, where black pro­fes­sion­als over 50 were ex­pe­ri­enced and in short sup­ply.

Bis­aro said four years was also the time span al­lo­cated to jobs. While black pro­fes­sion­als were the most likely to job-hop af­ter 3.47 years, whites and coloureds were more likely to stay around, par­tic­u­larly in top man­age­ment po­si­tions where the av­er­age length of em­ploy­ment is seven years.

Bis­aro said this was due to the coun­try’s trans­for­ma­tion agenda where black pro­fes­sion­als were a sought-af­ter com­mod­ity. They have greater op­por­tu­ni­ties at their dis­posal, com­mand higher salary pack­ages and move fre­quently for ca­reer and fi­nan­cial ad­vance­ment.

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