The average difference in annual earnings between women and men aged 30-55 doing the same work in the same position is 12%. Photo credit: Pixbay.

Czech Republic, Dec 14 (BD) – The gender pay gap for equal work is still significant in all countries, and the situation is worse than average in the Czech Republic, according to a large international study by a team including researcher Alena Křížková from the National Institute for Research on the Socio-Economic Impacts of Diseases and Systemic Risks (SYRI). 

While in Hungary, the difference in average annual earnings between men and women aged 30 to 55 is 9%, in the Czech Republic it is as high as 24%, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour. Inequalities in pay in the Czech Republic are linked to motherhood and career breaks, the unavailability of childcare facilities for young children, and other gender stereotypes.

Until now, experts have considered the main cause of the gender pay gap to be the fact that women and men work in different jobs and workplaces, with men in better paid jobs and workplaces with higher average wages. In this respect, many view the gender pay gap as something of a ‘natural’ characteristic of the economic system. “However, we have found that differences in the distribution of women and men in the labour market and differences in the valuation of different jobs and types of work are only half the problem,” said Křížková. “The other half is the difference in earnings between women and men doing the same job in the same workplace. Unequal remuneration of women and men for the same work is still a very significant cause of the gender pay gap, and this is true for all countries surveyed.” 

An international team of researchers led by Professor Andrew Penner from the University of California, Irvine, looked at the differences between the total annual earnings of women and men in the age range of 30-55 in 15 countries. After filtering out the effects of age, educational attainment, and tenure, they found that the overall gap was between 9% in Hungary, 26% in the US, and 33% in South Korea. In the Czech Republic, the difference between the annual earnings of men and women was 24% in 2019. 

However, the differences in pay for the same positions performed in the same workplace are also very 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 aged 30-55 working in the same position is 12%.

On the positive side, the overall gender pay gap (GPG) and the GPG at the same position have been slightly decreasing over time in most of the countries studied, with the exception of Central and Eastern Europe. “In the Czech Republic, although the GPG at the same position was slightly decreasing until 2019, the overall GPG was increasing, meaning that the GPG is increasingly driven by men and women working in differently paid positions. In Hungary and Slovenia, both total GPG and GPG at the same position are even increasing,” Křížková added.

According to Křížková, pay inequality in the Czech Republic is significantly related to motherhood and career breaks, the unavailability of childcare facilities for young children, the lack of support for shared parenting between partners, and gender stereotypes associated with motherhood, including the precarious position of mothers after returning from parental leave to the labour market. This is indirectly shown by analyses that use age to estimate GPG over the course of a lifetime. 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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