Despite the fact that women's position in the labour market has improved in recent decades, they are still paid less than men. Recently published international research suggests that men are more likely to get into better-paid positions and that, on top of that, they are paid more for the same job.
As many as 28 researchers from 15 countries, including the Netherlands, conducted research on income differences between men and women. The results of their research were recently published in the leading scientific journal Nature Human Behaviour. The study found that there is a so-called pay gap in all the countries studied. After controlling for age, education and part-time or full-time employment, men still earned more than women. The pay gap was largest in South Korea (41%) and smallest in Hungary (10%). The Netherlands ranked number 7 with a 20% pay gap, scoring about the same as Norway.
According to the researchers, the popular view that differences in salary between men and women are caused by differences in type of job is only half of the story. In fact, their study shows that women in all the countries studied also earned less within the same job. Income differences within the same job were highest in Japan (26%) and smallest in Denmark and France (7%). In the Netherlands, income differences were relatively small at 7.5%.
Researcher Zoltán Lippényi works at the University of Groningen and is part of the research team: "A significant part of wage differences in the Netherlands is due to part-time work, which is mainly chosen by women. But if we look at hourly wages, we still see wage differences: men earn 4.4% more in the same job."
In recent years, the pay gap in the Netherlands has narrowed. This is good news, Lippényi thinks, but he stresses that this does not mean that inequality is something of the past. "About half of the income differences we still see occur between men and women working for the same employer and holding the same position. In addition to ensuring sufficient diversity within positions, for instance in the board, companies should also pay attention to whether the formal and informal rewards for men and women within the same job are equal."
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