Do you know that gender equality in employment has only improved by 2% across Europe in the last years?

Although we might think there is a lot of progress, as in many countries’ enterprises have to declare contracts and incomes to the state, statistics show the contrary. The Gender Pay Gap does not only revolve around earning the same as your male companion in the same job in the same organisation, there are many hidden factors, like unequal payment in between different sectors, jobs given varying importance….

The Gender Pay Gap is still considerably large in Europe as gross hourly earnings of women were 14,1% below those of men in the EU (2018 and 2019), calculated for enterprises with 10 or more employees. The highest pay gap in the EU was in Estonia at 21.7% and lowest in Luxembourg with 1,3%.  The process of eliminating the Gender Pay Gap has been slow, meaning it will take more than 70 years before the gender gap is closed (EIGE, 2020).

THEREFORE…inform yourself on collective agreements in your job. If you have the choice between different options compare organisation standards and sector specific agreements, even in between different sectors. It is recommendable to be aware of the law and regulations.

Country statistics:

Gender unadjusted pay gap or % of average gross hourly earnings of men (newest data):

  • EU, gender pay gap 14,1% in 2019.
  • Iceland, gender pay gap 13.8% in 2018.
  • Bulgaria, gender pay gap 10.4% in 2018.
  • Greece, gender pay gap 11.9% in 2019.
  • Poland, gender pay gap 8.5% in 2019.
  • Spain, gender pay gap 11.9% in 2019.
  • Cyprus, gender pay gap 10.6% in 2018.


Eurostat (2021). Gender employment gap. Last retrieved: 02.07.2021.

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) (2020). Beijing +25 policy brief: Area F – Women and the economy: care responsibilities and insecure jobs limit women’s empowerment. Last retrieved: 02.07.2021.

Eurostat (2020). The life of women and men in Europe, a statistical portrait – 2020 edition. Last retrieved: 02.07.2021

Eurostat (2021 February). Gender pay gap statistics. Last retrieved: 02.07.2021.


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