In Switzerland, salaries for equally qualified men and women doing the same job can vary by as much as 20% in men’s favour. (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch/SRF)
To narrow that gap, the Swiss cabinet wants all businesses with at least 50 employees to conduct an analysis of wages every four years subject to external review.
According to a study by the Federal Statistical Office, the average monthly salary of a woman aged 40 to 49 working in the private sector is CHF5,757 ($5,630). Men of the same age doing the same work earn CHF7,312, a difference of more than CHF1,500. The inequalities are less pronounced among younger employees and more so among older ones.
About 60% of the wage differences can be explained by objective factors. Many women return to work after a long absence raising a family, so they may have less experience in the job than their male counterparts. Qualifications and training and the level of responsibility affect wages. But, according to the study, 40% of the wage differences cannot be explained in this way.