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Unequal wages Big pay gaps remain in Switzerland

UBS bank exterior

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.

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).

Wage gaps in big Swiss firms
(Kai Reusser /



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