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How is the gender pay gap measured?

At EU level, the gender pay gap is defined as the relative difference in the average gross hourly earnings of women and men within the economy as a whole.

In 2012, the EU average is estimated at 16.4 %. This indicator has been defined as unadjusted (e.g. not adjusted according to differences in individual characteristics or other observable characteristics that may explain part of the earnings difference) because it gives an overall picture of gender discrimination and the inequalities in the labour market that explain gender differences in pay.

Key figures on equality between women and men at work in relation to the gender pay gap

From the new Eurostat estimates (based on the Structure of Earnings survey), it appears that there are considerable differences between the Member States in this regard, with the gender pay gap ranging from less than 10% in Slovenia, Malta, Poland, Italy, Luxembourg and Romania, to more than 20% in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria, and reaching 30% in Estonia.

However, the gender pay gap is not an indicator of the overall inequality between women and men since it only concerns salaried people. The gender pay gap must be looked at in conjunction with other indicators linked to the labour market, in particular those ones that reflect the different working patterns of women. In countries where the female employment rate is low (e.g. Italy), the pay gap is lower than average. This may be a reflection of the small proportion of low-skilled or unskilled women in the workforce. A high pay gap is usually characteristic of a labour market which is highly segregated, meaning that women are more concentrated in a restricted number of sectors and/or professions (e.g. Czech Republic, Estonia and Finland), or in which a significant proportion of women work part-time (e.g. Germany and Austria). Finally, institutional mechanisms and systems on wage setting can influence the pay gap.

 

Country

Gender Pay Gap 2012

 EU27

 16.4

Belgium

10

Bulgaria

14.7

Czech Republic

22

Denmark

14.9

Germany

22.4

Estonia

30

Ireland

14.4

Greece

15

Spain

17.8

France

14.8

Croatia

18 

Italy

6.7

Cyprus

16.2

Latvia

13.8

Lithuania

12.6

Luxembourg

8.6

Hungary

20.1

Malta

6.1

Netherlands

16.9

Austria

23.4

Poland

6.4

Portugal

15.7

Romania

9.7

Slovenia

2.5

Slovakia

21.5

Finland

19.4

Sweden

15.9

United Kingdom

19.1

Source: Eurostat 2012 except for EL (2010). 

Links

 

Please find here all the documents related to the gender pay gap Choose translations of the previous link .