Slovak women have a worse position in society than other European women when it comes to employment, salaries, care for the family and the establishment of their own businesses.
In the EU, women earn on average 16 percent less than men across all sectors. In Slovakia, the gap is 21 percent, stemming from the data of the Slovenská Sporiteľňa bank.
The Gender Equality Index, issued by Eurostat, monitors the differences between men and women in the labour market, education, salaries, health care and engagement in public life. The current results for Slovakia are 52.4 points out of 100. The EU average is 66.2 points.
Slovakia is also the only European country where the inequality has deepened. It ranked 26th, down by seven places.
“The most important reason is that women work one-third less than men in their lives because of maternity duties,” said Lenka Buchláková, analyst of Slovenská Sporiteľňa, as quoted in the press release.
The longer breaks from work result in slower career growth. Women often find it harder to assert themselves in the technical fields and IT where men are dominant. Their education does not play a role there. In European countries, women are more highly educated than men on average.
“In the EU, employed women with a child or children under six years of age are 9 percent less than women without children,” said Buchláková. “However, in Slovakia the difference is 30 percent.”
Women in the workplace
About half the people in Slovakia, including women, are willing to negotiate their salaries with their employers. When compared with Scandinavian countries, for example Sweden, almost 80 percent of employees negotiate their salary with their employers, including women.
Not many women are in charge of companies operating in the EU. Only one in 10 companies have a woman as manager.
Though they are slowly getting to managerial positions, only 7.1 percent of the overall number of managers were women in 2017. In Slovakia, the number is slowly decreasing, currently standing at 6.5 percent. The number dropped only in Slovakia and Romania.
On the other hand, France gained the most women managers. In seven years, the number increased by one third and the French are the best at breaking gender stereotypes, according to the European Commission.