IATE Term of the week: Gender Pay Gap (2020)


Updated article iconLast week, during the plenary debate on Monday 13 of January, the European Parliament called again for more action to narrow the gender pay gap. This issue was introduced in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, when the equal pay for equal work principle was voted. Although, according to researchers, working women in the EU earn on average 16% less per hour than men in 2017.

This term describes the difference between the average earnings of men and women. The calculations have been based on salaries paid directly to employees before income tax and social security contributions are deducted. Moreover, the gender pay gap does not take into account all the different factors that may play a role, for example education, hours worked, type of job, career breaks or part-time work.

In the table, you can see European statistics from 2017 and have the full image about salary discrimination based on gender in each European country. As the graph reveals that the pay gap differs widely, being the highest in Estonia (25.6%), the Czech Republic (21.1%), Germany (21%), UK (20.8%), Austria (19.9%) and Slovakia (19.8%), while the lowest numbers can be found in Slovenia (8%), Poland (7.2%), Belgium (6%), Italy and Luxembourg (5% each) and Romania (3.5%).

Understanding the graph is not an easy case. A smaller gender pay gap in specific country doesn’t mean more gender equality, but women having fewer paid jobs instead. The European Parliament discusses measures to tackle the gender pay gap and works on a vote for the resolution later this month.

Eurostat is planning to update the article on gender pay gaps in March of 2020 so check back on the Eurostat source below in a couple of months for updated statistics.


Plenary highlights: European Green Deal, future of Europe, Brexit, www.europarl.europa.eu. Accessed on 23 January 2020.

Understanding the gender pay gap: definition and causes, www.europarl.europa.eu. Accessed on 23 January 2020.

Gender pay gap, IATE, www.iate.europa.eu. Accessed on 23 January 2020.

Gender pay gap statistics, www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Gender_pay_gap_statistics. Accessed on 23 January.

antonia pappaAntonia Pappa – Communication trainee at the Terminology Unit

Born in Greece in 1992. She holds a Bachelor degree of Communication, Culture and Media and she worked, for three years, for a newspaper and food magazines in Greece. Antonia is now taking a Master’s degree in International Marketing and Communication and is working her thesis about social media advertising. In her free time, she likes travelling, doing yoga and going for a walk with her dog.