Europe reports 15% gender pay gap

// 24 February 2006

European women earn an average of 15% less than men, although we are now winning more jobs EUobserver reports.

“More than four in ten employed women work in public administration, education, health and social activities, compared to less than two in ten men,” states the study.

On the other hand, women account for only 32 percent of managerial jobs in the private sector, and represent 10 percent of company boards and 3 percent of CEOs of larger EU enterprises.

Moreover, 32.6 percent of women work part-time, compared to 7.4 percent of men, with young mothers experiencing a 14.3 point drop in employment, while young fathers represent a 5.6 point hike in job rates.

In Cyprus, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Greece and Malta the job gap remains high. However the same trend is evident in Scandinavian countries, which enjoy the highest female employment rates.

Less than one-tenth of women work part-time in Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Greece, while in Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, up to 40 percent of part-time workers are women.

The pay gap is lowest in Malta, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Greece and Poland, and highest in Cyprus, Slovakia, Estonia, Germany, the UK and Finland.

It’s a bit scary to think the UK has one of the narrower pay gaps in the EU. But luckily the European Commission is putting together a “roadmap” suggesting policies that could help close the gap in all the member states. High on the list of priorities is likely to be better social policies, including child care and equal opportunity parental leave.

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