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Swiss gender pay gap among the widest in Europe

Gender pay gap
© Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The gender pay gap in Switzerland is still among the biggest in Europe. In 2020, women earned on average 18.4% less than men for equivalent work, according to new figures.

The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) reportedExternal link on Tuesday that Switzerland had a similar gender pay gap to Germany and Austria (18.3% and 18.9%, respectively).

In Europe, the earnings gap between men and women is highest in Estonia (21%) and Latvia (22.3%). The European Union average currently stands at 13%.

In the Netherlands, where female participation in the workforce is comparable to Switzerland, men earn on average 14.2% more than women, FSO said.

In Switzerland, 75.4% of women aged 15 to 64 have a job, the statistics office revealed. This is one of the highest rates in Europe after Iceland and the Netherlands. The EU average is 63.4%.


But this is explained by the high percentage of women employed part-time in Switzerland (60.9% in 2021). The EU average is 28.8%.

The FSO figures also examined female participation in national parliaments in Europe. This ranges from 47.6% in Iceland to 14.1% in Hungary; the EU average is 31.3%. In Switzerland, 42% of the parliamentarians in the House of Representatives are women. Higher rates are observed in Belgium, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland, the statistics office said.



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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR