The gross-wage gender gap was nearly 18 percent in 2012 which means that, on average, for each euro men earned, women earned 0.82 eurocents. Women in the age category 25-30 earned higher hourly wages than their male counterparts, but over the age of 40, women’s average hourly wages were significantly lower.
Gender wage gap narrowing
The wage gap is calculated by comparing the average gross wage of all women to the average gross wage of all men. Slowly but continuously, women are catching up. The gap between men’s and women’s hourly wages was reduced from 20 percent in 2008 to nearly 18 percent in 2012.
Gross-wage gap between men and women
Largest gender gap in age category 50-55
In the age category 20-30, the difference between the genders is only small. In fact, the average hourly wage of 25 to 30-year-old women was marginally higher in 2012 than that of their male counterparts. An important factor in this respect is that women in this age group are often higher educated than men.
In the age category 35-40, the gender wage gap was 10 percent. In the age categories 40-45 and 50-55, the wage gap increased to 17 and 24 percent respectively, partly because women tend to take breaks in their careers or reduce their weekly working hours to raise children. Career interruptions and part-time jobs reduce women’s career prospects in the long run, resulting in lower hourly wages.
Gross-wage gap between men and women by age, 2012
Largest wage gaps in sector financial services
In the sector financial services, the differences between men’s and women’s gross hourly wages were most apparent, i.e. nearly 30 percent in 2012. The smallest gap (nearly 15 percent) was recorded in the construction sector. The difference is partly caused by the fact that hourly wage levels may vary widely within a particular sector. Wages within the sector financial services wages vary more than in many other sectors. Men are overrepresented at higher management level; women are more frequently employed in lower-wage positions.
Gross-wage gap between men and women by sector, 2012
Katja Chkalova and Ruud Drankier