What does the gender pay gap mean

Gender pay gap: definition and causes 

Causes of the gender pay gap

On average, women work more unpaid hours than men, for example for childcare, caring for older relatives or housework. Such a gender-specific gap in unpaid working hours can be seen in all EU countries, even if, according to 2015 figures, it ranges from 6 to 8 hours per week in the Nordic countries to more than 15 hours in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Malta, Greece and Cyprus varied.

This leaves less time for paid work .: According to 2018 figures, almost a third of women (30 percent) work part-time, while only 8% of men work part-time. If unpaid and paid work are considered together, women work more hours per week than men.

It is also more often women who interrupt their careers for family reasons or whose professional decisions are influenced by family or care responsibilities.

Around 30 percent of the gender pay gap can be traced back to an overrepresentation of women in sectors and occupations with relatively low pay such as care, sales or education. In addition, there are still jobs, for example in the fields of science, technology and engineering, in which the proportion of male employees (over 80 percent) is very high.

Women also hold fewer management positions: less than 10 percent of CEOs in top companies are women. With regard to the gender pay gap, female managers are most disadvantaged: in management positions, they earn an average of 23 percent less per hour than their male colleagues.

In addition, women are still confronted with pure discrimination in the workplace, for example when they are paid less than their male colleagues under the same conditions and conditions or are downgraded after returning from maternity leave.

Women therefore receive lower hourly wages, do more unpaid work and fewer paid hours, and are more likely to be unemployed than men. This results in an average gender-specific total income difference in the EU of almost 37 percent (in 2018). In the case of the total income difference, it is not the hourly earnings but the total income that is considered.