Less than 1,000 women joined the ranks of those earning above Sh100, 000 per month last year in the formal sector, underlining the gender pay gap in the economy.
Official data shows that 918 female workers were hired or promoted to jobs paying at least Sh100,000 compared to 912 in 2015 and 1,141 in 2015.
This pales in comparison to 1, 594 male employees who last year entered the special earning class of over Sh100, 000 a month, up from 1,583 men in 2015.
The rift in gender pay comes amid growing calls for parity and promotion of women in the workplace to position of influence.
The gender wage structure is seen to work against women professionals who have in recent years sought to occupy senior positions in both corporate Kenya and public offices.
In total, only 76, 804 Kenyans had monthly earnings in excess of Sh100,000 last year — equivalent to a paltry 2.8 per cent of formal sector employees of 2.65 million.
Out of this top-layer pay group, 28,072 were women or 36.5 per cent and 48,733 men with payslips above Sh100,000 a month, according to data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
The 28,072 females in the elite earning group accounted for a measly one per cent of the total pool of formal sector employees.
Women have in recent years made gains in corporate world, taking on management positions with high responsibilities and corresponding fat pay cheques. This is happening amid rising education levels among womenfolk, while more firms continue to open up executive suites to professional females for diversity and gender equity.
Human resource experts reckon that the more advanced and highly marketable skills an employee possesses, the higher the remuneration.
The number of women earning more than Sh100,000 has climbed steadily from Sh24,413 in 2013, 25,101 a year later, 26,242 in 2015 and 27,154 in 2016 – a rise of 14.9 per cent over the last five years.
The KNBS data shows that three-quarters of the workforce earns less than Sh50,000 a month, making settlement of household bills a tricky balancing act, especially in Nairobi where the cost of housing and commuting is high.
Last year, Kenyan economy minted 2,511 additional jobs that pay more than Sh100,000 a month, 0.6 per cent rise compared to 2016 when 2, 495 moved up the pay ladder to join the top paying jobs, but still lower than 3, 122 recorded in 2015.