OECD: Gender Wage Gap Remains 15 Percent, Survey Finds

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By Andrea Barbara Schuessler

The gender wage gap remains at 15 percent across member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Monika Queisser, head of the OECD's social policy department, and Katharina Wrohlich, researcher with the German Institute for Economic Research, said when presenting the OECD report on The Pursuit of Gender Equality–An Uphill Battle at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin Nov. 13.

Germany's gender wage gap remains 21 percent, they added.

“The pursuit of gender equality must be a priority to achieve sustainable inclusive growth for the benefit of every citizen,” OECD Chief of Staff and G20 Sherpa Gabriela Ramos said at the launch of the report. “There is no reason for women to trail behind men in social, economic, and political outcomes. Countries need to do much more to reach the gender equality goals.”

Negative Factors

On average, women in the OECD are more likely to work part-time, are less likely to reach management positions, face more discrimination, and earn less than men, according to the report.

“Reducing the gender gap in labor force participation by 25 percent by 2025, as agreed by G20 leaders, could add one percentage point of growth to projected baseline GDP growth across the OECD over the period 2013-25 and almost 2.5 percentage points if gender participation gaps were halved by 2025,” the OECD said.

In Germany, the female employment rate is above the OECD average at 70 percent, but approximately 37 percent of women work part-time compared to 25 percent on average in the OECD, according to the OECD country note on Germany.

Negative Trends

Germany has the largest gender pension gap in the OECD (46 percent), Queisser and Wrohlich said.

“Neither basic nor minimum pensions exist, so individuals with low pension entitlements will have to rely on the means-tested old-age safety net, which amounts to only 19 percent of average earnings compared to 28 percent in Austria and 40 percent in New Zealand,” the country note says.

Violence against women, the persisting large gender wage gap, and the unequal sharing of unpaid work are the most important gender inequality issues, the OECD said in its 2012 survey on the pursuit of gender equality.

Following the release of that report, approximately two-thirds of OECD countries implemented new equal pay policies and established more childcare facilities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Barbara Schuessler in Berlin at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at rvollmar@bna.com

For More Information

The Pursuit of Gender Equality–An Uphill Battle is available in English here.

For more information on German HR law and regulation, see the Germany primer.

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