Large income gap between working fathers and mothers

In 2011, the gross annual wage of female employees averaged 33 thousand euro, i.e. 55 percent of the average income of their male colleagues, who earned 58 thousand euro. The gender income gap is very wide among (married) couples with children. The gender income gap in the Netherlands is in the middle range in the European Union (EU).

Considerable income gap between working parents

The difference in earned income between men and women is relatively small for single employees. On average, single women’s wages are 84 percent of single men’s wages, but in the category (married) couples with children, the incomes of women average only 45 percent of the incomes of men in the same type of household. This is largely due to the fact that most mothers hold part-time jobs, whereas fathers tend to work longer hours.

No gender income gap for single full-timers

If only full-time employees are taken into account, the gender income gap appears to be much smaller. On average, female full-timers earn more than 80 percent of their male counterparts. In the category single employees, the differences between the genders salary-wise have disappeared altogether.

Save working hours, differences in education level, age, occupational level, work experience, industrial sector and whether or not holding a managerial position are also factors which contribute to the income gap between the genders. After correction for these factors, that still leaves a difference of 15 percentage points to be accounted for. 

Earned income female employees by type of household, 2011*

Earned income female employees by type of household, 2011*

Gender income gap puts the Netherlands in the middle range in the EU

With respect to the remuneration gap between male and female full-timers, the Netherlands takes up a position in the middle range among the EU member states. Italy is the only EU member state where female full-timers earn approximately the same wages as male full-timers. In all other EU countries, hourly pay rates for women are lower than for men. In Austria and Germany women’s wages are lowest in relative terms. In these countries, the average hourly pay rate for women working on a full-time basis is less than 80 percent of male full-timers doing the same job.

Hourly wages female full-timers in the European Union, 2011

Hourly wages female full-timers in the European Union, 2011

Marion van den Brakel and Linda Moonen