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 among mothers in Germany. A recent study by Glassdoor Economic Research examines these “costs of maternity” as well as 11 other factors related to equality at work in a total of 18 countries. The results reveal that women in Scandinavia are significantly better off in their jobs than here. Compatibility of work and family in the Europe comparison: Germany almost salary at salary Working mothers


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Fritzi Roth Fritzi Roth_GlassdoorDACH Fritzi Roth is a product specialist at Glassdoor DA-CH.

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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.

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. This is shown by the current study “Which Countries in Europe Have the Best Gender Equality in the Workplace?” by Glassdoor Economic Research.

Compatibility of work and family in the Europe comparison: Germany in salary almost at the bottom of the gender pay gap for mothers

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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.

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

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.

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Women's quota: Underrepresented on the board

The European comparison shows that in Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and Portugal, almost 40 per cent of employees are female at management level. In Germany, the rate is 30 percent, whereas the percentage of women in management positions in the Netherlands is the lowest with 26 percent.

Also on board level, women are underrepresented with a share of below 40 percent. In Norway the quota with 36 percent is still the highest, which is partly due to a corresponding legally regulated women's rate from the year 2006. France, Finland and Sweden followed by a women's share of approximately 30 per cent. In Germany, the rate is at 26 percent, whereby it should be noted here that the legislator was also active at the beginning of the year with the law for the equitable participation of women and men in leadership positions (the data taken from the Glassdoor study are from the year 2015).


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