Jobs and the Future of Work

Which European countries have the biggest gender pay gaps?

Emma Luxton
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In Estonia, women earn almost 30% less than men, making it the largest gender pay gap in the European Union.

Although no member country has managed to completely close the gender pay gap, in the EU the situation is generally better than in other parts of the world.

These Eurostat statistics show the percentage difference between the average gross hourly earnings of men and women for each EU country. (Greece is not included due to a lack of data.)

1512B33-eu gender pay gap hourly earnings estonia austria

Estonia has the biggest difference in the average gross hourly earnings of men and women, with men earning 29.9% more than women. This is followed by Austria, which has a 23% difference in wages.

That Germany appears among the top five countries with the largest gender pay gaps may come as a surprise. Despite its progressive equality policies, such as split parental leave, the country has a gap of 21.6%. Sweden and Finland have similarly progressive policies but also fall within the less equal half of the graph.

Slovenia, with 3.2%, is the most equal EU country. It is followed by Malta with 5.1% and Poland with 6.4%.

Globally, women continue to earn less than men, with the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015 showing that despite an increase in women’s earnings, their current worldwide average only equals what men were earning 10 years ago.

151123-global average wage women men gender equality report 2006 2015 infographic

The imbalance of the gender wage gap has a direct impact on global economics. As talented females struggle to thrive in the workforce, it affects a country’s ability to generate sustainable growth and create jobs.

Have you read?
The 10 most gender equal countries in the world
5 things you didn’t know about the gender pay gap
15 women changing the world in 2015

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Author: Emma Luxton is a Digital Content Producer at Formative Content. 

Image: A businesswoman walks on the esplanade of La Defense, in the financial and business district in La Defense, west of Paris. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes.

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Related topics:
Jobs and the Future of WorkGeographies in DepthEquity, Diversity and Inclusion
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