Czech gender pay gap is still the second widest in EU

The gender pay gap in the Czech Republic is on average 22 percent -- among the highly educated it grows to 29 percent.

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Czech gender pay gap is still the second widest in EU - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

The same job, the same education, and the same experience, but a very different wage. According to Eurostat statistics the Czech Republic has placed second yet again among the countries with the highest genderwage gap in the EU.

“There is a fine, according to law, of up to one million Czech crowns for unequal pay, but it’s not easy at all to prove that”, says Andrea Linhartová Palánová from PwC. 

What is the reason for this situation? According to Palánová, one reason is the enduring historical stereotype that the man is the one who takes care of the finances and the woman is the one who takes care of the children and household. A second reason is that women are taking career breaks. Czech women have one of the longest maternity leaves in Europe, and the longer they stay at home the more difficult it is to return to work.

Many women stay at home longer with their children because they have no access to child care, as there are not enough nurseries and state kindergartens in the Czech Republic.  

Palánová believes women also suffer from low self-esteem on the job market. She cites a Harvard university study which shows that most women immediately accepted well-paid offers with other benefits, and only five percent of them negotiated for five percent higher payment. Meanwhile among men, 95 percent negotiated a higher salary.

Details from the story:

  • With lower income, and low pensions, women live the last years of their life in poverty more often than men 
  • European countries are trying to impose legislative measures which would prevent a gender pay gap. Iceland was the first country in which the law forbid companies to pay women less than men.
  • The Czech Republic also has a law addressing the gender pay gap, however, it is not clear enough, and it’s very hard to prove unequal payment, says Linhartová Palánová 
  • Changes throughout companies payment systems are necessary, and salary transparency is not a sufficient tool for change.
  • Children must be educated from a very young age about payment equality 
  • The Swiss Equal Salary Foundation grants companies an Equal Salary certification which is valid for three years. PwC is monitoring firms twice within this period 
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