Women in the EU Earned 16% Less on Average Than Men in 2016

The statistical agency Eurostat published a statistic pointing to the pay gap between men and women for the year 2016. According to the published document women in the EU earned 16% less on average than men. This would roughly translate to - for each euro a man makes, a woman makes 84 cents. 

This is not as bad as it seems - on a global scale women earn 23% less than men. According to the International Labour Organization at least 70 years will pass until we are able to fill the gap. In the United States, the average pay gap is 20%. In the EU, countries with a pay gap of over 20% are Germany and Great Britain. Countries like Romania, Italy, and Luxembourg have their gender pay gap as low as 5%. 

However, the gender pay gap has some controversy surrounding it. How come? Many think that it is called the gender pay gap because it is the gap caused by gender differences. In reality, observation has shown that the gap simply happens to correlate with gender. It is a common misconception that correlation is the same as causation. The pay gap is subject to multivariate analysis - personality traits, life choices, and gender among others all contribute to the wages. The average gender pay gap is calculated when you average the wages of all men - regardless of their age, occupation, and interests and compare it to the average wage of all working women - no matter age, interests, priorities, occupation. This is, naturally, a biased number and Eurostat also admit to it - it is an unadjusted gender pay gap. If you start narrowing it down depending on age, education, position in the company, etc. the gender pay gap starts to slowly vanish. 

(Picture taken from: http://recruitingtimes.org/news/15241/slow-process-closing-gender-pay-gap/ )

Vasil Manev

Vasil Manev is a student in Computer Science and an aspiring columnist, studying in Heidelberg, Germany.

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