Swiss women employed in the private sector earn 9.4 per cent less than men, according to a study published on Friday.
The federal authorities are one of the less-discriminating employers, with an average wage inequality of 3.4 per cent. But this rises to 18.9 per cent in the textile industry, the report found.
The survey by the Office of Work and Social Policy Studies (BASS), carried out on behalf of the Federal Statistics Office, showed that in banks and insurance firms, men’s wages are on average 12.2 per cent higher than women’s.
The study also found big differences between regions. Those worst affected were in Italian-speaking Ticino, 12 per cent, while wage inequality stood at 9.7 per cent in the Zurich region and 7.9 per cent around Lake Geneva.
Industry sectors with higher percentages of female employees showed lower wage gaps, BASS indicated in its report, which was based on 2008 salary structures.
The Gender Gap Report 2010, published in October 2010, ranked Switzerland tenth in the world for gender equality, up three places from last year.
The study looked at equality issues including salaries, access to education and training and political participation as well as health and life expectancy in 134 countries.
swissinfo.ch and agencies