On paper, Taiwan's gender wage gap isn't half bad; on par with many developed nations and much better than Japan, Korea or China.

A deeper look, however, shows these gains leave many industries behind.

The total gender pay gap in Taiwan was 14 percent in 2016 according to the Ministry of Labor, with the average Taiwanese man earning NT$308 (US$10.40) per hour compared to NT$265 for the average woman.

More detailed statistics from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) under the Executive Yuan show a 16 percent pay gap. These numbers only represent payrolled employees as part of DGBAS’s accounting operation; self-employed citizens are not counted.

This means that women would have to work many more days to keep up, but this varies wildly by industry.


The wage gap decreased by half between 1997 and today.

In 1980, men made twice as much in real estate as women, a difference that has been completely eliminated. Some professions have even seen disparities increase; artists and entertainers used to be quite egalitarian, but men’s wages have shot up while women's have stagnated.

Here's the 2016 wage gap for each of DGBAS's categories.

Employment Sector Wage gap (percent)
Real estate -3
Plumbing and water works 2
Leatherworking 7
Hotels and food service 11
Finance 12
Furniture making 13
Publishing 14
Fossil Fuels 15
Transportation and warehousing 15
Pharmaceutical manufacturing 15
Education 16
Woodworking 17
Communications and media 18
Technical services 20
Electricity and gas 20
Auto manufacturing 20
Rubber products 21
Mineral processing 22
Metalworking 25
Mining 25
Construction 25
Machining 26
Papermaking 26
Chemical manufacturing 26
Clothes manufacturing 28
Textile manufacturing 28
Food manufacturing 29
Chemical products manufacturing 30
Alcohol and tobacco manufacturing 30
Plastic manufacturing 30
Metal manufacturing 31
Electronic equipment manufacturing 31
Electronic parts and components manufacturing 34
Industrial Repair and installation 34
Arts and entertainment 35
Electronic manufacturing 40
Human health services 45

(Note: government statistics should always be taken with a grain of salt.)