Women in Slovakia can earn €300 less monthly than men

There are several factors impacting the pay gap, and not necessarily discrimination.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Women in Slovakia earn up to one quarter less than their male colleagues.

While women's total average salary amounts to €1,323 gross, men earn €1,751 gross. The difference is €428, i.e. nearly 25 percent. This stems from a recent analysis of the Platy.sk website, which is administered by the recruitment company Profesia.

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As for net salaries, women earn some €928 a month, while their male colleagues receive €1,228 a month. As a result, men have some €300 more monthly in their wallets than women.

This is not the case of Slovakia only according to the analysis. There are various factors behind this trend – statistics are not necessarily impacted by discrimination, but also work preferences, habits and the focus of the economy, to name a few factors.

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Women employed in mostly six sectors

The difference between the hourly wages of men and women amounted to 15.5 percent last year, according to the data presented by the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the country’s central bank.

It was 4.3 percentage points lower than in 2015, the SITA newswire reported.

Women in Slovakia are employed particularly in six economic sectors. There are 208,000 of them working in industrial production, which represents 18 percent of all employed women. Altogether 177,000 women (or 15 percent) work in wholesale and retail, and 164,000 (or 14 percent) in health and social care and in education. There are 113,000 women (10 percent) working in public administration and defence, and 67,000 women (6 percent) in accommodation and catering.

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In other spheres, the percentage of women working there is lower than 5 percent, according to NBS.

One in 10 Slovaks earned under €800 gross a month in 2021 Read more 

More women than men work in health and social care (83 percent), education (82 percent), and accommodation and catering (62 percent).

On the other hand, there are more men than women working in the construction sector (93 percent), supply of electricity and gas (81 percent), supply of water (80 percent), information and communication (75 percent), and transport and warehousing (75 percent). In industrial production, 67 percent are men.

Situation in the V4 region not different

The gender pay gap can be observed in other countries that belong to the Visegrad Group (V4), too.

While in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia the gaps are relatively the same, oscillating around 25 percent, the gap in Poland is much wider, amounting to nearly 33 percent.

The lowest gap in the V4 region is in Hungary – about 22 percent, the Platy.sk analysis showed.

The gender pay gaps in other countries seem to be lower, though. This includes the Balkans, where the focus of the economy is different and the representation of both sexes in the most sought after job positions on the market is more balanced. In Croatia, for example, the pay gap between men and women is about 16 percent, according to Platy.sk.

Pandemic brings lay-offs, but transforms labour market Read more 

The gap is even lower in northern Europe, where the representation of women in managerial positions is much higher than in Slovakia. In Finland, for example, women receive about 12 percent less than their male colleagues.

Factors are varied

There can be several factors behind the pay gap. One of them is different work preferences.

In the V4, for example, the sectors with a higher number of women employees usually have lower salaries. This includes health and social care, administration and economy, finances and accountancy.

On the other hand, there are more men in telecommunications, the electrotechnical industry, energy sector and machinery.

Another factor is maternity leave. In many countries, it is mostly women who care for newborns. While women spend time with children at home, their male colleagues obtain new skills and experience, which then impacts their salary, according to Platy.sk.

Extended paid leaves not cheap, only big corporations can afford them Read more 

In some regions, customs also play a role – women are not raised and motivated to work on their careers, while men are considered breadwinners. Women are supposed to take care of the home and children.

Last but not least, women generally ask for less money at job interviews. This problem occurs in countries like Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. One of the reasons, according to Platy.sk, might be lower initiative and less self-confidence. Another reason is that women often must negotiate higher salaries with a male manager.

Related article Career Guide: Exploring Slovak labour market trends and human resources in the wider EU context Read more 

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