Web poll: 68% "Gender gap caused by discrimination" - August 20, 2009

A clear majority of 68% in the most recent web poll by the WageIndicator believes that women are paid less per hour because of discrimination. On the poll, hosted in 15 countries and regions, almost 10,000 people (9.578) voted on the issue of the gender gap in salaries. Of the total 25 percent believes women earn less because they work less hours and seven percent because their education is less that that of men. While the major outcome of the web poll might not be that surprising, between countries we found interesting differences. 

In Belarus 25 percent of the voters believe women earn less because they have a lower education compared to men. No other country matched that percentage, but the percentages in Mexico (10%), the USA (15%). Spain (11%) and Paraguay (11) were significant higher than the average percentage, although in a few countries that might have been caused by a rather low number of voters. 

Also some countries voted in larger numbers for the option that women earn less per hour, because they work less hours. The tone of the web poll has been set by the 3877 Dutch voters, who cover almost one third of the total. Of those Dutch voters 36% believes that there is a link between the number of hours people work and a lower pay. Since in the Netherlands mostly women work less hours  there is an chicken/egg discussion going on whether gender of the average number of worked hours causes a differences in pay. Part-time work seems to be much stronger among Dutch women than elsewhere. It would need more study to draw a firm conclusion here. Very clear is that the Dutch position is not supported in many of the other countries. Only in India (29%), Angola (37%) and the USA (28%) voted over average for the "less hour" option, although in the last two countries votes might have been too limited to draw conclusions. In the future the relation between  the gender gap and hourly pay for part-time workers will be an additional focus of our salary comparisons. We have already discovered (and a publication is pending) that in the Netherlands HR-managers earn substantially less per hour if they work part-time.

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