The gender wage gap in the Netherlands is lower, but disparity still exists

Over the past ten years, the average hourly wages of women are close to that of men, showing a shrinking gender wage gap. However, differences are still widespread.

This Friday, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported that the average gross hourly wages for women was €20 per hour, while for men it was €22, according to RTLNieuws.

Last year, the average gross hourly wage for women was 14% less than that of men, RTL Nieuws reports. Ten years ago, this disparity was 20%, signifying only a 6% difference.

If you look at the gross hourly wage median instead of the average, the difference between men and women is 7%.

More women in higher education

Since the mid-1990’s, the gender pay gap has decreased by 0.5% annually. A reason for this is likely because there are more highly educated women than men in recent years, RTL says. This is particularly relevant for women who are aged 45 or under.

Differences more prominent in other indicators

If you look at average annual wages, the differences are substantial. Men have as much as 38% higher annual wages compared to women.

In two-thirds of cases, this was due to the fact that women work fewer hours: Women work an average of 25 hours per week, while men work and average of 33 hours.

Men in higher positions

Men are overly represented in positions paying €30 per hour, whereby a quarter of all working men receive this sum. In the case of working women, this amounts to only 14%.

But if you look at net hourly wages, the number for women is higher, at €16.95, whereas for men it is €16.64, as higher income groups pay higher tax amounts.

Do the new figures say anything?

The new CBS figures do not reveal much about equal pay for men and women in comparable positions, in terms of experience as well as education.

In fields such as banking, law and insurance, the differences appear to be even more significant.

In what ways can the pay gap be improved or addressed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Feature Image: Lyncconf Games/Flickr 

Vedika Luthra
Vedika was born in India, raised in Poland and moved to the Netherlands to study. Like her nationality, she’s confused about what she likes most, which is why her bachelor’s degree was in liberal arts and sciences. She enjoys writing about all things food-related but likes to mix it up every now and then.


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