Gender pay gap in Germany remains unchanged at 18 percent

Gender pay gap in Germany remains unchanged at 18 percent

Despite years of campaigning on the issue, progress on closing the gender pay gap remains slow. On average, women working in Germany earned less than men in 2021, according to figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The gender pay gap remained unchanged at 18 percent. 

Women in Germany earn 18 percent less per hour than men

According to figures released by Destatis on Equal Pay Day, women in the federal republic received an average salary of 19,12 euros gross per hour in 2021, 4,08 euros less than men, who earned an average of 23,20 euros per hour. Last year, the difference was 4,16 euros per hour. 

However, as Destatis pointed out, the gender pay gap has narrowed over the past 15 years. Back in 2006, women in Germany earned 23 percent less than men, on average. Interestingly, at 6 percent, the gender pay gap is lower in eastern Germany than it is in western Germany (19 percent). 

The statisticians said that the gender pay gap in Germany can still be put down to structural issues - for instance, that women tend to work in professions and sectors associated with lower pay and fewer managerial positions. In addition, more women than men work part-time hours or have so-called mini-jobs. 

However, these factors can only account for 71 percent of the pay gap, according to Destatis, leaving 29 percent of the gap unexplained. Even with comparable work responsibilities and qualifications, women still earn 6 percent less per hour than their male colleagues, according to calculations made by Destatis in 2018. 

Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day is an international day of action for equal pay for women and men around the world, and falls the day before International Women’s Day on March 8, which is a public holiday in some German states

In the US, Equal Pay Day marks how far into the year the average woman must work, on top of her earnings in the previous year, in order to earn the same amount of money as the average man in the whole previous year. The exact date therefore differs from year to year. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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