Czech women lose a month’s earnings due to gender pay gap

Photo: Energiepic, Public Domain

The Czech Republic is one of the countries with the largest gender pay gap in the EU. On average, women earn a fifth less than men, and the annual difference exceeds one month's earnings. In an effort to combat this discrimination, the Ministry of Labour has launched a project called “22% to equality”, in reference to the difference in female and male incomes. The project involves comprehensive research, but also a web payroll calculator or an “equal pay program” for employers.

Photo: Energiepic,  Public Domain
A survey among 2,000 Czechs conducted within the research program indicated that close to half of Czechs - 49 percent - take it for granted that women in the Czech Republic simply do not have the chance to earn as much as men in the same position, with the same responsibility. Three-fifths of women and two-fifths of men share this opinion.

Eighty-three percent of them say this is due to the demands of motherhood and childcare, because the burden of running the household and taking care of the children tends to be unequally distributed in Czech families. Another reason given is the problem of finding part-time work and thus juggling motherhood and a career. Two thirds of respondents pointed to the fact that there are fewer women in high posts in this country and 60 percent blame stereotypes and the education system which tend to direct men and women into different fields. Many respondents also noted that employers abuse the fact that women are generally reticent to ask for more money.

A third of respondents expressed the view that women make less because they are “less capable, less efficient and less skilled” than their male counterparts.

Statistics sharply contrast with the latter opinion. There are more female university graduates than male. Three fifths of university graduates in the Czech Republic are women. Despite this they make 20 to 30 percent less than their male counterparts and find it harder to climb the career ladder.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents said firms and institutions should say in their ads what the approximate salary for a given position would be and 75% said trade unions and labour inspectors should get involved in trying to correct the gender pay gap problem.