Equal Pay Day: Austrian Women Work 68 Days in 2021 “For Free”

Around the world, women continue to earn less than men for the same work. Women in Austria still earn around 18.5 percent less than men on average. Calculated over a year, this means that women work “for free” for the last 68 days of the year – that is, from October 25, or Equal Pay Day, onwards. Over the course of their working lives, women earn 500,000 euros less on average than men.

“One reason for the income difference is the unequal participation of men and women in unpaid work, but also in paid work,” said a statement from Vienna’s Rathaus (City Hall). Men often end up in overtime while women work part time. Even among full-time workers, the difference is significant: While men earn an average of 54,571 euros gross, women earn 44,449 euros.

A glance at the gender pay gap in other countries on Equal Pay Day showed that Austria was limping behind in an EU comparison. In 2019, Austria had a gender pay gap of 19.9%, while the EU average was 14.1%. Austrian neighbors Germany and the Czech Republic were also close to the bottom of the table, with a 19.2% and 18.9% difference respectively. The situation in the Scandinavian countries was considerably better, with a 14% in Denmark, and 11.8% in Sweden.

The gender pay gap in Austria is closing (see statistics below). At this rate, said experts from the Austrian healthcare group OeGK and the Workers’ Chamber AK, men and women will earn the same amount by 2054. That means that the first women who, at age 18, can expect equal pay (on average) haven’t even been born yet, and won’t be until 2036. That is, they will be the children of Gen Z.

Austrian Equal Pay Days 2010 – 2021

2010: 29th September
2011: 4th October
2012: 6th October
2013: 8th October
2014: 10th October
2015: 10th October
2016: 11th October
2017: 13th October
2018: 20th October
2019: 21th October
2020: 22th October
2021: 25th October

(Source: Rathauskorrespondenz, based on AK OÖ, Lohnsteuerstatistik, Statistik Austria)

Reported in cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency / APA.