Compatibility of work and family in the Europe comparison: Germany almost at the bottom of the salary


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The gender pay gap is particularly drastic for mothers in Germany. Women in Scandinavia in particular are much better off at work than in this country. Working mothers

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Indirect costs of maternity only higher in Ireland than in Germany

Working mothers tend to receive a lower salary than childless workers. The gender pay gap compared to the average higher earning men is almost 23 percent higher for women with at least one child than for childless women.

A study by Glassdoor Economic Research examines these “Maternity Costs” and 11 other factors related to gender equality at work in 18 countries. At 31 percentage points (PP), this difference in wages is only greater in Ireland than in Germany. In Italy, Spain and Belgium (3 PP and below) the indirect costs of motherhood are the lowest in Europe.

Women's quota: Underrepresented on the board

The Europe comparison shows, for example, that in Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and Portugal, almost 40 percent of the employees at management level are female. In Germany the rate is 30 percent, while the proportion of women in management positions is lowest in the Netherlands at 26 percent.

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Women are also underrepresented at board level, with a share of less than 40 percent. In Norway, the quota is still highest at 36 percent, which is partly due to a corresponding legally regulated quota for women from 2006. France, Finland and Sweden follow with a share of women on the board of around 30 percent. In Germany, the rate is 26 percent, although it should be noted here that at the beginning of the year the legislator also became active with the law for the equal participation of women and men in management positions.

Equality at work: pent-up demand in Germany

The study examined a total of 12 gender mainstreaming indicators, including employment rate, labor force participation and the ratio in managerial positions. Equality in the workplace was compared in 18 countries based on OECD and Eurostat data. Germany ranks fourth in the ranking.

Examples such as Sweden, Norway and Finland prove that it is possible to achieve an almost balanced relationship between employed men and women. This balance in the labor market can serve as a model for other countries. However, a positive example such as Norway shows that no country is perfect: the indirect costs of maternity are almost as high as in Germany.

Comparison of equality in the workplace

Gender gap in employment rates

With regard to the employment rate, Germany is in the middle: the gap between the rate for men and women amounts to 9 percentage points (PP). In Italy and Greece there are the largest differences between the sexes in this category, while the labor markets in Finland, Sweden and Norway are significantly more balanced.

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Taking into account the full-time employment rate, the gender gap once again increases significantly and is two to three times higher than the general employment rate. This means that there is a large gender-specific difference in the length of working hours, and a fixed rate for women is on average less likely. However, at this point, the degree of training is also a central influencing factor. For women with a university degree, the gender gap is only half as high as for women without a higher education.

Gender pay gap in mothers


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  1. Negotiating salaries for women - 2/6: 4 theses on women in management positions | Best of HR - Berufebilder.de

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