Study

In Luxembourg, the salary gap between men and women is among the lowest in Europe

On 8 March, International Women's Day, Eurostat published its latest figures on gender-specific wage gaps.

13-ecartsalarialWith an average difference in pay of 5.5% between women and men, Luxembourg is in 3rd place within the European Union, where the wage gap is smallest worldwide. It is only exceeded by Romania (5.2%) and Italy (5.3%). It's important to note that between 2011 and 2016, the Grand Duchy reduced the wage gap between women and men by 2.4 points, showing a trend identical to that of most Member States. However, on average, women earned 16% less than men in the EU in 2016. In other words, for every euro earned in an hour by a man, a woman earned an average of 84 cents. In France, this figure is 15.2%, while Germany exceeds 20%, with 21.5%.

How can these differences be explained?

The wage gap can partly be explained by the difference in systemic conditions which affect male and female employees (equality between men and women in the field of education has still not been achieved in the European Union) and by sectoral segregation (there are more men than women in certain professions with higher salaries). But things are changing Europe-wide, slowly but surely. For example, the percentage of women serving on the boards of public institutions and private companies in which the Luxembourg state has a direct holding was 34.58% in 2017, compared to 27.41% in 2015.

How is the average calculated?

The pay gap calculation is based on the four-yearly Structure of Earnings Survey (SES) carried out by the European Union as well as a series of national estimates, intended to cover the periods between two SES. The Eurostat report only concerns companies with ten or more employees working in industry, construction and services.

(Article written by the editorial team of the luxembourg.lu portal; source: Eurostat)

  • Updated 07-05-2018