Gender Pay Gap in EU 2014

Older news can be found in the archive

News on the gender pay gap


A female councillor in Ireland will be barred from serving in the local authority if she takes more than 6 months maternity leave.

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New data reveals that the wage gap in the UK may be much bigger than previously thought.
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Gender pay gap widens for female managers in the UK
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HeForShe: Latest gender parity report
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Flexible working, generous parental leave and good wages are not helping Finland's low birth rates.

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Women still underrepresented in Nordic IT industries.

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Three women file lawsuit with google claiming it puts women in lower level and lower paid jobs.

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New Zeeland

Green Party releases equity policy in relation to the gender pay gap and orders new responsibilities for CEOs.

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Article on the need for laws to increase women's participation in the economy.

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A law in Germany is to go into effect shortly to ensure pay transparency. The article reports that "If a female employee believes she's being paid unfairly, or wants to be sure she isn't, she can either submit a request anonymously to employee representatives or go directly to HR. The company is then required to provide the average salary for employees with similar work and responsibilities". There is a concern in Germany however, that businesses are not ready for the change and that the law does not take into account any other forms of pay inequality.

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In the UK, the Department for Education was the first governmental department to publish its wage gap data which is 5.9%, however, this has demonstrated problems when publishing the percentage as the Department calculates using a different methodology to the Office of National Statistics.

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A new French Minister, Marlene Schiappa, wants to introduce sexual harassment fines of up to 5000 Euros and that the Government offers free consultations to big businesses on how they can close their GPG.

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A draft bill on menstrual leave is currently being discussed in the Italian Government which proposes that some women employees can have up to 3 days paid leave off each month if they experience painful periods.

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The Australian Government has published a report with 9 recommendations on how to close the GPG. Stark occupational segregation has been cited as the main contributing factor with up to 60% of people never experiencing what it is like to work in a gender-balanced sector.

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According to an article in Marie Claire, the gender pay gap in the White House "has more than tripled in the first year of his administration, with female members of staff reportedly earning 63 cents for every dollar male staffers make".

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In the manufacturing sector in India, it has been reported that the GPG is touching 30% and the median hourly salary has declined according to a report by The online recruitment agency's Monster Salary Index (MSI) and the International Labour Organisation in the Global Wage Report 2016/17 has also reported that the GPG in India is of 'huge' concern.

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Gender equality hits a glass ceiling in Denmark; one of the reasons, women are not choosing to return to work full-time.

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Women face a gender pay gap just one year after graduation in the UK.

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100 acts of gender equality campaign started in Croatia.

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The President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, has called on the international community to take urgent action "to accelerate gender equality and equitable participation in the economy."

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Google is under fire again about its GPG analysis.

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Editorial by Isabella Lenarduzzi (JUMP): benchmarking the EU against the US in terms of corporate gender equality.

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Equal Pay day 2017

Equal Pay Day took place on 04 April this year and it seemed that it had less of a media and social media presence than in previous years. The Belgian organisation Zij-Kant together with socialist trade union ABVV however launched a very powerful campaign to mark the day. The 'unorthodox' campaign featuring a young girl driving a bus suggested that either the Pay Gap is closed or women will need to start their careers 10 years earlier.

equal pay day campaign 2017

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International Women's Day

On 08 March this year, International Women's Day celebrations took place across the world to mark women's achievements and to raise awareness of gender equality issues. The European Commission marked the occasion by the publication of a new report on equality between men and women, which highlighted that whilst significant progress is being made in the EU, there are notable gaps and differences between Member States.

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A recent survey by Shutterstock has revealed that UK employers are not paying due diligence to gender pay issues; this was according to a survey decision makers carried out by NGA Human Resources. This is despite recent gender pay reporting which requires businesses with 250 or more employees to publish annual figures reporting what the gender pay gap is in their company.

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There are talks in Italy of introducing paid 'menstrual leave'. If this law is passed, companies in Italy will have to offer female staff 3 days off per month to deal with the discomfort of menstruation. Whilst many Italians welcome the move in terms of gender equality, some fear that it will further fuel the tendency to recruit men over women.

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Women managers in Ireland earn up to 16% less than than men doing the same job according to recent research by Eurostat. The research also uncovered that women take up only two fifths of management roles. Although this is far from the ideal 50:50 split, Ireland comes before France, Sweden and the UK in terms of gender equality in management ranks.

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There has been widespread outrage this month after far-right Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke announced in the European Parliament that women were "weaker, shorter and less intelligent than men" and should therefore be paid less. As a consequence of his appalling public outcry, it is likely that his per diems will be docked for 30 days which will equate to roughly 9,180 euros. Furthermore, Janusz will be suspended from his parliamentary duties for 10 days but may not 'represent the parliament for up to a year'.

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Iceland will be the first State to outlaw the Gender Pay Gap. Politicians have wowed that by 2022, there will no longer be a GPG in the country and a bill to this effect is currently being drafted.

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The GPG in Hungary has reduced massively over the past 5 years according to Eurostat and most noticeably from 20% in 2012 to 14% in 2015. One contributing factor to this dramatic decrease is a new career model for the teaching industry where many women are employed. An area of focus for the future will be to tackle vertical segregation and explore ways to encourage a better gender balance in management positions.

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Women′s work and the gender pay gap

The Economic Police Institute (Washington D.C.) has proven that women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men-despite the fact that over the last several decades millions more women have joined the workforce and made huge gains in their educational attainment.

Too often it is assumed that this pay gap is not evidence of discrimination, but is instead a statistical artifact of failing to adjust for factors that could drive earnings differences between men and women. However, these factors-particularly occupational differences between women and men-are themselves often affected by gender bias.

Read the report in English

Gender pay gap in Wales report

Chwarae Teg (Welsh for Fair Play) has gathered some facts about the gender pay gap in Wales.

Women consistently outperform their male counterparts in general in education in Wales and are more likely to end up with a better degree classification; however, they are significantly under-represented in many sectors and, in particular, in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Read the report in English

Marcel Fratzscher on the gender pay gap

Since the planned German law on wage transparency is on hold (and might not be agreed on by the government, Marcel Fratzscher - the president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) - has written a great comment for Der Spiegel on the argument that the Gender Pay Gap in Germany is not that high and that women themselves are responsible for the wage differences (since they work part-time and "chose" the wrong jobs...).

Finnish campaign − Women's euro is less than men's

Akava, a Finnish trade union confederation of affiliates for highly educated people, has initiated a campaign aimed at promoting gender pay equality. The amount of women′s euro or female euro on the payslip remains significantly lower than that of men.

"In 2014, the total earnings of women were approximately 82 per cent of men′s earnings. This figure includes any result-based bonuses paid. In 2010, the earnings of women were about 81 per cent of men′s earnings, so there has essentially been no change," says Joonas Miettinen, Researcher at Akava.


These figures were taken from the Structure of Earnings statistics published by Statistics Finland. Miettinen digs even deeper for older statistics. In 2006, the total earnings of women were approximately 79 per cent of men′s earnings.

This gender pay gap will continue to be a burden for today′s wage and salary earners long into the future. Lower pay means a lower pension as well.

Spanish study − Equal pay and collective bargaining

UGT of Catalonia and Maria Aurèlia Capmany Foundation organized the ′Un Futuro sin brecha′ (a Future without the Gender Gap) project, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. The project has centred on the search for factors that provoke inequality in the elaboration of collective agreements.

The result is a study based on the analysis of the 129 collective agreements from different sectors that are currently in place in Spain, focusing on aspects like the language used in the remuneration system or the system of professional classification. Besides studying collective agreements, they have elaborated a guide for those in charge of negotiating collective agreements that incorporates the conclusions and recommendations from the study. Through they guide, they aim to make the results public, make people aware of the problem at hand and give those negotiating collective agreements a tool to fight the pay gap.

The full report (in English) can be downloaded

The full guide (in English) can be downloaded

Report − Which countries in Europe have the best gender equality in the workplace?

A recent study by Glassdoor Economic Research confirmed the gender pay gap is real and significant ranging from 5 to 6 percent in European countries and the U.S. − even after controls for education, work experience, age, location, industry and even job title and company are applied. When looking at the overarching ′unadjusted′ pay gap, the economic cost of motherhood − the increase in the gender pay gap accounted for by the presence of children7 − remains large. Social and family structures in effect tend to penalise women with children. Childcare costs are, in some countries, high relative to earnings; and the burden of unpaid household work and childcare often falls on mothers.


The cost of motherhood is highest in Ireland, where the pay difference (with respect to men) between women with at least one child and those with no children is 31 percentage points. The cost of motherhood is also comparatively high in Germany (23 percentage points): women aged 25 to 44 with no children and who work full−time are paid around 2 percent less than men, compared with 25 percent less when they do have children. In the UK, the gender pay gap increases by 14 percentage points when women have children; in Austria, by 13 percentage points; in France, by 12 percentage points; in the Netherlands by 8 percentage points. The cost of motherhood is lowest in Italy, Spain, and Belgium (3 percentage points or less). In the U.S., the pay difference between women with at least one child and those with no children is 16 percentage points, which is greater than most European countries in this study.

Read more in English.

The simple thruth about the gender pay gap

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been on the front lines of the fight for pay equity since 1913. AAUW members were in the Oval Office when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 into law, and more than 50 years later, the AAUW continues to lead the push for policies and legislation to encourage and enforce fair pay in the workplace. Pay equity is a priority for AAUW, and it will continue to be until women everywhere earn a fair day′s pay for a fair day′s work.

In January 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, Since then, AAUW has worked for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would give women additional and much-needed equal pay protections. The legislation failed in procedural votes in the House and Senate in the 113th Congress, but the Senate did vote to fully debate the bill for the first time ever in September 2014.

This guide is designed to empower our members and other advocates with the facts and resources they need to tell the simple truth about the pay gap. It′s real, it′s persistent, and it′s undermining the economic security of American women and their families.

Read the guide here

European Commission - Report Magnitude and impact factors of the gender pay gap in EU countries

This study undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the sources of wage differences between male and female workers in Europe. Its main purpose is to shed light on the interplay of so far neglected explanatory factors as well as to reveal country differences in the roles of these factors. One specific point of interest concerns the impact of gender differences in the incidence of overeducation.

For this reason, our study also examines, in an introductory module, the determinants of overeducation in Europe. In this way, we make contributions to two different, highly debated subfields in labour economics: the overeducation and the gender pay gap literature. In both fields, our innovative features are the large number of determinants as well as the large number of countries simultaneously analysed.

The study is divided into three modules, which build on each other. The main findings are summarised in what follows. For more detailed information, please see the full text of the study. For more country-specific information please refer to the country fiches provided together with this final report. Some suggestions regarding additional variables potentially increasing the scientific usefulness of the three data sets are made in the last chapter of the study.

Read more in English.


Dr. Alexandra Scheele: "Frauen sind wie Männer, nur billiger" In: OXI Wirtschaft für Gesellschaft, 20th March, 2016.

Glassdoor survey details Gender Pay Gap in five countries

Glassdoor Economic Research (GER) has examined the gender pay gap using a unique data set of hundreds of thousands of Glassdoor salaries shared anonymously by employees online. Unlike most studies, GER has included detailed statistical controls for job titles and company names. The gender pay gap in five countries has been estimated: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France.

The results:

  • The gender pay gap is real. Men earn more than women on average in the examined countries, both before and after adding statistical controls for personal characteristics, job title, company, industry and other factors, designed to make an apples-to-apples comparison between workers.

  • A similar pattern is found in all the five countries: a large overall or ′unadjusted′ gender pay gap, which shrinks to a smaller ′adjusted′ pay gap once statistical controls are added.

  • To drill down further into what′s causing the gender pay gap, the overall gap is divided into an ′explained′ part due to differences between workers, and an ′unexplained′ part due either to workplace discrimination, whether intentional or not, or unobserved worker characteristics. In all countries, most of the gender pay gap is explained. The ′unexplained′ part is only 33 percent in the U.S. and is less than half in every country.

  • Workplace fairness and anti-discrimination remain important issues. But the data show that while overt forms of discrimination may be a partial cause of the gender pay gap, they are not likely the main cause. Occupation and industry sorting of men and women into systematically different jobs is the main cause.

  • This research shows that employer policies that embrace salary transparency can help eliminate hard-to-justify gender pay gaps, and can play an important role in helping achieve balance in male-female pay in the workplace.

Read more in English.

What goes on in the world?

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On the project

Presentations of the Gender Pay Gap Project

All the presentations made in the final conference of the Gender Pay Gap Project which took place June 8th at the European Parliament in Zagreb, Croatia can be downloaded.

Final conclusions conference Gender Pay Gap Project in Zagreb

Following the goals of the project, activities taken and in line with the discussion that had been raised on the conference all participants and partners on the project agreed to formulate eight main final conclusions.

The main conclusions (in English) can be downloaded.

Compilation of the movies we made

On the final conference of our project the compilation of the movies the partners made was presented.

Country factsheets

The national factsheets on the gender pay gap in the participating countries are published. The focus is on the situation of the gender pay gap in these countries and more particular in the financial sector and the health sector.

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Gender Wage Watchers Network

During the meeting in Vienna, the EU Network Gender Wage Watchers was established. The EU Network Gender Wage Watchers consists of experts on the gender pay gap and organisations who want to work on eliminating the gender pay gap. Members of the EU Network Gender Wage Watchers will have access to all related information. The idea is that through mutual learning, the network will expand their knowledge on the topic and to think about and to present possible solutions to tackle the problem of gender pay gap and to raise awareness in their respective countries.

Interested in joining our network? Please follow this link to subscribe to the Network Gender Wage Watchers.

More information and application form.

Comparative report

This ′Comparative Report′ has been prepared as part of the project ′Gender Pay Gap: New Solutions for an Old Problem. Developing Transnational Strategies Together with Trade Unions and Gender Equality Units to Tackle the Gender Pay Gap′ which is a project funded by the PROGRESS Programme of the European Union. The main objective of the project is, in close cooperation with trade unions, gender equality units and other relevant stakeholders, to develop new, innovative strategies to tackle the gender pay gap.

On the one hand, the project concentrates on the gender pay gaps in the financial and insurance sector, and, on the other hand, on the human health sector.

Researchers from each of the participating countries have contributed extensive country-specific in-depth research (country context and sector specific analysis including the financial and insurance sector and the health sector) in cooperation with representatives from trade unions and gender equality units.

The ′Comparative Report′ at hand is a summary of the work conducted by the researchers in each country. This work is based on different methods and approaches including analyses of literature and statistics, interviews with various experts, focus groups with relevant stakeholders and mutual learning meetings on national and transnational levels. The aim of the ′Comparative Report′ is to give comprehensive insights into the situation of the six involved countries concerning the gender pay gap and to propose actions to close the gap. Similarities and dissimilarities regarding each country′s situation might support common action and learning from one another. The focus of the report lies, as in the entire project, on the financial and insurance sector as well as the human health sector.

The report is one element of a multi-faceted approach including research, networking, mutual learning, implementation of initiatives, awareness-raising activities and dissemination strategies and should support activists and stakeholders with arguments and ideas in their struggle to close the gender pay gaps.

The full report can be downloaded in English - in Spanish. in your language!

Have you already noticed the language icon in the top right corner? If not, click on it and find the multilingual version of this website. Available languages are those of the partner organisations of this project, meaning Croatian, Dutch, Estonian, German and Spanish.

New action tool - Street interviews: What do you think about the gender pay gap

Within the project, all partner organisations went on the streets in their countries. We wanted to know how big the awareness around the gender pay gap is amongst the broader public. The result was astonishing. Not only do most people, both young and old, know about the gender pay gap, most of them are also aware of (parts of) the mechanism that cause the difference in wage between men and women and most of them don't think the gender pay gap is fair!

You can find these videos on our website under the heading actions & tools.

New action tool - Clocks

Analogue to the Swedish 15:56 movement, we decided on the last partner meeting in Vienna in January 2016, to make clocks for the partnering countries. These clocks represent the time, based on a working day from 9.00 till 17.00, from which women are working for free, if you compare it to a men's wage.


EU Network Gender Wage Watchers

The EU Network Gender Wage Watchers consists of experts on the gender pay gap and organisations who want to work on eliminating the gender pay gap. Members of the EU Network Gender Wage Watchers will have access to all related information. The idea is that through mutual learning, the network will expand their knowledge on the topic and to think about and to present possible solutions to tackle the problem of gender pay gap and to raise awareness in their respective countries.

Interested in joining our network? Please follow this link to subscribe to the Network Gender Wage Watchers.

More information and application form.


Members of the network

  • Claudia Sorger - Austria - L& R
  • Anamarija Tkalčec - Croatia - Cesi
  • Maja Gergorić - Croatia - Cesi
  • Alexandra Scheele - Germany - BTU
  • Maria Pazos Morán - Spain
  • Elli Scambor - Austria - Verein für Männer- und Geschlechterthemen Steiermark
  • Dominik Sandner - Austria
  • Višnja Ljubičić - Croatia - Ombudswoman for Gender Equality
  • Andrea-Hilla Carl - Germany - Berlin School of Economics and Law
  • Henrike von Platen - Germany - President, BPW Germany
  • Marcelo Segales - Spain - Fundación Tomillo
  • Lisa Danzer - Austria - L&R
  • Sile O'Dorchai - Belgium - IWEPS
  • Katrien Bruggeman - Belgium - Dutchspeaking Women's Council
  • Ilse De Vooght - Belgium - Femma
  • Ana Lite Mateo - Spain - Spanish Institute of Women and for Equal Opportunities (Equality Body)
  • Gaelle Troukens - Belgium - Instituut voor Functieclassificatie (institute for function classifications)
  • Inga Verhaert - Belgium - Province of Antwerpen
  • Isabelle Van Hiel - Belgium - University of Gent
  • Christina Stockfisch - Germany - DGB
  • Tajana Broz - Croatia - Cesi
  • Hildegard Van Hove - Belgium - RoSa
  • Christin Ho - Belgium - RoSa
  • Maarten Rombouts - Belgium
  • Cristina Castellanos - Spain - Tavistock
  • Eva-Maria Burger - Austria - Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Women's Affairs
  • Ingrid Moritz - Austria - Arbeiterkammer Wien
  • Marina Ivandić - Croatia - Novi sindikat
  • Karen Eloot - Belgium - ACV
  • Monica Maioli
  • Susana Gonzalez - Spain - Fundación Tomillo
  • Mercedes Valcarcel - Spain - Fundación Tomillo
  • Emakunde - The Basque Institute for Women
  • Monika Triest - Belgium
  • Antonio López Serrano - Spain - Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad
  • Martine Vandevenne - Belgium - ABVV
  • Carmen Cesteros Fernández - Spain - Cámara Hispano Chilena de comercio, industria, cultura, deportes y turismo and Empredona
  • Herlindis Moestermans - Belgium - Dutchspeaking Women's Council
  • Carla Rijmenans - Belgium - Institute for the equality of women and men
  • Amy Kordiak - UK - Chwarae Teg
  • Bélen Llorente - Spain - Edenred
  • Elvira Gonzalez - Spain
  • Nadja Bergman - Austria - L&R
  • Gertrud Åström - Sweden - 15:56
  • Liina Osila - Estonia - Praxis
  • Barbara Mayer - Austria - Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection
  • Cinzia Sechi - Belgium - ETUC
  • Marta Laiglesia Gracia - Spain - CCOO
  • Gema de Cabo - Spain - CEET
  • Leticia Henar - Spain - CEET
  • Victoria Kremer - Germany
  • Ivonne Ferguson
  • Françoise Goffinet - Belgium - Institute for the equality of women and men
  • Jenny Lincoln - UK - BITC
  • Agna Smisdom - Belgium - Equal Opportunities Flanders
  • Elke Vandenbrandt - Belgium - Green Party
  • Johan Van Eeghem - Belgium - BBTK-ABVV
  • Annemie Pernot - Belgium - Federal Advisory Council for Equal Opportunities for men and women
  • Zara Nanu - UK - Gradient DM
  • Jessica Machacova - Equineteurope
  • Ann Gydé - Belgium - Equal Opportunities Flanders
  • Helmut Gassler - Austria - IHS
  • Raquel Gomez - Spain - CCOO
  • Rugile Butkeviciute - Lithuania - Women's issues information centre
  • Charlotte Kastner - Germany - Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency

Actions and Tools


Imagine a working day from 9.00 to 17.00. Did you ever wonder from what time are women in your country not paid anymore, if you compare their wages to men? made the calculations for you. Should all women just clock out at that time?


Entgeltgleichheit-Check is a short form for "Entgeltgleichheit-Check" which can be translated by "pay equality check". It was launched in 2010 and updated in 2014 as a tool-box aiming at analyzing the wage structure by gender on the basis of the legal equal pay principles "equal pay for equal work and for work of equal value". The tool-box was developed by two researchers - Karin Tondorf and Andrea Jochmann-Döll - with financial support of the union-related Hans Böckler foundation (Hans Böckler Stiftung) and in strict accordance to the German and European statutory provisions and case law.

Read more about the Entgeltgleichheit-Check in English.

Promotion material

RoSa vzw, one of the partners of the project, has created magnets and beer felts to raise awareness of the project. When preparing food or drinking with friends, never forget that the gender pay gap is ever present. Promotion_material

Street interviews: how aware are the people in the partner countries of the gender pay gap?

Compilation of the movies we made





Click here for the Estonian video on the Gender Pay Gap.



RoSa's educational kit about the Gender Pay Gap

RoSa vzw, one of the partners of the Gender Pay Gap project, has developed an educational kit about the gender pay gap for the third grade of secondary school. Awareness at a young age is important in counteracting stereotypes and closing the gender pay gap.

A small preview of the kit can be watched in Dutch:

About the original project

Developing Transnational Strategies Together with Trade Unions and Gender Equality Units to Tackle the Gender Pay Gap (2014- 2016)

In many European countries the issue of unequal pay is on political agendas and has gained certain relevance in public, in the media and in research discourses. But statistics on the gender pay gaps show however that much more needs to be done to enable effective improvement. Hence the main objective of this project is to develop new, innovative strategies to tackle the gender pay gap. This project focuses on the role of trade unions and other relevant stakeholders such as gender equality units and the possibilities to strengthen their influences in combating the gender pay gap. Participating countries are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Germany and Spain as well as representatives from European institutions including the ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation). Researchers from each country cooperate with representatives from trade unions and gender equality units and elaborate country specific in-depth research: a country context analysis and sector specific analysis including the financial and insurance sector and the health sector. The project comprises a multi-faceted approach including research, networking, and mutual learning, implementation of initiatives, awareness-raising activities and dissemination strategies. One of the core elements of the proposed project is the theoretical and practical exchange of knowledge between activists, researchers and stakeholders with the aim to create new strategies in narrowing the gender pay gap.

Read more about the project.

Read more about the partners.

Discover the country profiles.





Wage calculators

  • in Dutch Social Benchmarking: Belgian Trade Union ACV makes a ranking of Belgian companies based on their social performance instead of economic performance. You can find data on the gender pay gap on company level!
  • in German Gehaltsrechner
  • in Dutch Loonwijzer
  • in Spanish
  • in English Wage Indicator
  • in German Logib-D: a free internet tool which enables companies to analyze their earnings structure with regard to gender on a voluntary basis



  • in German GenderATlas where amongst other gendermaps you will also find a very interesting map showing the income difference between women and men in each district in Austria.