Big pay gaps remain in Switzerland

There is a 1:252 pay gap ratio between the lowest and highest paid staff at the Swiss bank UBS © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Large wage gaps continue by gender and within Switzerland’s largest 26 firms, according to two new surveys.

This content was published on June 25, 2019 - 15:09

According to the Federal Office for StatisticsExternal link, the median gross salary of male full-time employees in Switzerland stood at CHF85,200 ($87,276) last year, while for full-time female employees it was CHF71,500 – a 19% pay gap.

Among the self-employed, there was a 41% pay gap with men earning CHF80,000 compared with CHF56,700 for women.

At the top of the company hierarchy, male executives earned CHF125,900, compared with CHF96,000 for women – a 31% pay gap.

The gap narrowed for administrative staff: men had median gross salaries of CHF74,800, compared with CHF71,300 for women. But it was wider for people in the service or sales sectors -- CHF71,200 for men versus CHF55,600 for women.

The median salary for male unskilled workers was CHF64,500 last year, compared with CHF48,400 francs for women.

Highest-lowest salaries

According to the Swiss union Travail.SuisseExternal link, since 2011 executive wages have increased by 19%, while normal workers have had pay increases of 4.3% over the same period.

In its annual executive pay survey published on Monday, the union said the average ratio between the least-paid and top-paid had grown from 1:45 (2011) to 1:51 (2018) across the 26 biggest firms.

The biggest gaps were at the pharmaceutical company Roche (1:257) and Swiss banks UBS (1:252) and Credit Suisse (1:226).

Kai Reusser /

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