Pay inequality between men and women is one of the reasons so many women in South Africa are not able to retire comfortably, according to Emma Heap, head of retail at 10X Investments.
She pointed out that new regulations in the UK require that all companies with more than 250 employees report their gender pay gap to the Government Equalities Office by April this year.
She believes this shift towards greater transparency will likely put pressure on companies to pay their female and male staff more equitable wages.
The 2017 Pulse of the People report run by market research firm Ipsos found that, on average, women in South Africa earn 27% less than their male counterparts.
The report surveyed more than 3 500 employed South Africans across various occupations and regions. It found the payment gap becomes even wider when looking at top earners, with local men are earning as much as 39% more than women at a similar level.
Recent survey findings released by 10X Investments, meanwhile, revealed that 32% of female South Africans feel unsure about their retirement plans.
Men had almost 10% greater clarity on their long-term investment and savings plans.
“The wage gap may go some way to explaining why so many South African women are not prepared for retirement when the time comes around,” she said.
“Providing for retirement, frequently left to male partners in a relationship, is a classic empowerment issue… Preparing for retirement is each individual’s responsibility.”
Heap says getting involved in a family’s long-term financial planning is often a key step in a woman taking charge of her life.
“There is no better moment than now to start planning for (the future).
Retirement planning is largely about sticking to a simple plan and making sure you get the best value for your money or savings over the long term,” said Heap.