Czech women earn up to 40% less than men - Bratislava, 23 Sept. 2009

ICzech Republic men have up to 40% higher salaries than women. If the average brutto hourly wage of a man is 180.98 CZK, women get on the average 128.78 CZK. These results are derived from answers of 3904 men and 2683 women who in the period from March 2nd till April 20th 2009 filled in the anonymous questionnaire on the website of and indicated their salaries.

One has to deal with this extreme information very carefully. There are many factors which affect salaries and one cannot automatically assume that a woman earns 40% less than a man.

For getting a clearer picture it is necessary to consider differences in occupations, in the length of tenure, achieved educational level, whether the employee has a supervisory position, or differences among the regions of Czech Republic. After considering all these factors the salary gap between men and women becomes smaller, nevertheless it is still oscillating between 10% to 30% difference to the advantage of men.

Name of occupational group
Salaries of women compared to salaries of men in given occupational group after considering individual characteristics
Legislators, Senior officials, Managers
(e.g. economist, engineer, HR professional, IT architect journalist, lawyer, medical doctor, nurse, scientist etc.)
Technicians and Associate professionals
(e.g. banker, finance advisor, IT, technician, laboratory worker etc.)
Administration, clerks
(e.g. secretary, accountant, call centre services etc.)
Employees in services
(e.g. fire fighter, policeman, support personnel in health care, shop assistant etc..)
Craft and related trade workers
(e.g. butcher, manual worker in agriculture or construction, art craftsman etc.)
Plant and machine operators, Assemblers
Elementary occupations
(e.g. unqualified aid in transport, retail, services, construction, agriculture etc.)

Occupational names correspond with the standardised international classification of occupations ISCO.


Even the average values in respective occupational groups do not automatically imply lower salary for women at the given level. For example in the case of IT applications programmer (Technicians and Associate professionals occupational group) there are minimal differences between salaries of men and women. The same applies to occupations of clerk or secretary where men and women earn approximately the same salary. In the case of health care manager (Legislators, Senior officials and Managers occupational group) women earn 16% less brutto hourly salary than men. A woman working as a software engineer in the occupational category of professionals earns up to 44.8% less than men in the same position.

Why do women earn less?

There are three possible reasons for the salary gap. First one is direct discrimination: for the same type of work women earn less. “This reason is not possible to be refuted by our analysis. Even though we took into consideration the most important individual differences, the results imply that women earn on average less in every given occupational group. It is possible though that there are factors which were not possible to consider therefore we cannot fully confirm direct discrimination,” said Marta Kahancová from Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI) which analysed the data from the filled in questionnaires on website.

Another reason is that women might have problems to get into better paid occupations or even being denied access to get these jobs, or get higher on the career ladder. Alternatively women might have less or worse opportunities to get the education needed for getting into the better paid jobs. “It is a different form of discrimination where men are concentrated in better paid jobs and women perform the less paid work”, says M.Kahancová.

Lower average salary of women does not have to be connected with their discrimination. Some women specifically opt for occupations with lower salaries which might suit them for different reasons; the most common being the management/balancing of work and family life. Typical example is the education sector which offers its employees long summer holidays.

“Might it be for preferences of women or for their discrimination in the workplace, but if the trend of concentration of men in well paid jobs persists and women keep performing less paid work and work less hours than men it is assumed that the noted differences in salaries between men and women will not have narrowed in the following years either,” concluded Kahancová.

(CELSI – Central European Labour Studies Institute; mk2 & ik)

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