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Labour market

Gender pay gap still exists


The gender pay gap for equal work is still quite significant. This is also true of the Czech Republic, where the situation is actually getting worse, according to a major international analysis co-authored by researcher Alena Křížková of the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the National SYRI Institute. While in Hungary the difference in average annual earnings between men and women aged between 30 and 55 is 9%, in the Czech Republic it stands at 24%, according to a study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. Gender differences in earnings in the Czech Republic are related to motherhood and parental leave, the unavailability of childcare facilities for younger children and other gender stereotypes.

Experts have hitherto considered the main cause of earnings inequalities to be that women and men work in different jobs; men in better paid ones and at establishments with higher average wages. “However, we have found that differences in the ratio of women and men in the labour market and differences in pay between different occupations represent only one half of the problem,” says Křížková. “The other half concerns gender differences in earnings where women and men do the same job at the same workplace. Differences between the pay that women and men receive for the same work are still a very significant cause of the gender pay gap, and this proved to be the case for all countries in the survey.”

An international team of researchers led by Professor Andrew Penner of the University of California, Irvine addressed differences between the total annual earnings of women and men aged 30-55 years in 15 countries. After making basic adjustments for differences of age, education and part-time status, they found that overall gender gaps in earnings were 9% in Hungary, 26% in the US and 33% in South Korea. In Czechia, in 2019 the difference between the annual earnings of the two genders was 24%.

Differences in pay for the same occupation performed at the same establishment are also significant. The best situation is in France, where the gap was only 6%, followed by Denmark and Sweden at 7%, the US at 13% and Japan at 23%. In the Czech Republic, the average difference in annual earnings between women and men in the age category 30-55 working in the same position is 12%.

On the positive side, the overall gender pay gap (GPG) and GPG within the same job decreased slightly over time in most countries that participated in the survey, with countries of Central and Eastern Europe being the exception. “In the Czech Republic, although GPG within the same job decreased slightly before 2019, the overall GPG increased, meaning that GPG is increasingly driven by the fact that men and women work in differently remunerated jobs. In Hungary and Slovenia, both total GPG and GPG within the same job are increasing,” Křížková adds.

According to the researcher, the gender pay gap in the Czech Republic is affected significantly by motherhood and career breaks occasioned by parental leave, unavailability of childcare facilities for younger children, lack of support for shared parenting between partners, and gender stereotypes associated with motherhood, including the precarious situation in which mothers find themselves on their return from parental leave to the labour market. This is shown indirectly in analyses using the factor of age to estimate GPG over the course of a person’s life. By focusing on the 30-55 age group, the current study simulates the effect of parenthood on the gender pay gap.

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PhDr. Alena Křížková Ph.D.

Position: Senior researcher
+420 210 310 352