Gender Wage Gap in Austria indicates Gender Inequality

by CADoerr

Gender equality is questionable, if women earn one third less on average than men in Austria. Here are the facts of the women's report 2010.

In spite of gender equality on paper, the economic situation of women is worse than that of men in general. In Austria there still exists a strong attachment towards the traditional role model of men and women, which is partly the source of the gender wage gap and gender inequality in Austria. The male brings home the money and the women takes care of the household or is an part-time employee generally spoken. This traditional family model degrades gender equality to a farce and even more embarrassing is the fact that there is no male version of the term ‘housewife‘ in Austria.

The Origin of the gender wage gap in Austria

Roughly half of the gender wage gap is the result of the higher concentration of women in lower paid occupations, especially the social and service branch in comparison to men, differences in education and work experience. The marital status of women is another factor in the calculation of the gender wage gap, because women in relationships normally reduce their working hours for the benefit of the joint household in Austria. The other half of the empirically explicable gender wage gap is accumulated by family planning and child-bearing, the different behaviour of women in salary negotiations, followed by fewer working hours in general, part-time occupation and discrimination due to gender. Furthermore it is especially difficult for women to find a balance between family and occupation, which is another cornerstone of the gender wage gap and gender inequality. Women in Austria are expected to stay at home and forfeit their individual careers in favor of their male counterparts.

Statistical facts about gender inequality and gender wage gap in Austria

  • In the age group between 15 to 64 years about half of all women are part time employees. If you compare that fact with the EU-27 average for that age group only one third of all women in the EU work part time.
  • The gross annual income of women is more than one third lower when compared to the gross annual income of men.
  • The gender wage gap accumulated over the working years leads to the fact that male pensioners compared to female pensioners receive twice the pension on average.
  • The different education level stated above is the result of the bad integration of women in engineering and natural science in Austria. Women are still a minority in these areas of occupation due to gender inequality.
  • Women are kept away for long periods of time from the labor market due to the female unfriendly Austrian parental leave model, which generates gender inequality, as it makes it costly and therefore uneconomical for employers to employ women.
  • There are not nearly enough childcare structures or acceptance for working mums in Austria. Childcare institutions are also often quite expensive for the average working women.
  • In Austria the traditional male-breadwinner model is still imprinted in the society, which represents the view that women should stay at home with their children, whereas men bring home the money to support them.
  • Women are almost always expected to give up their job or work only part time in favor of the joint household in Austrian society.

The Scandinavian countries should be the role model

Gender inequality and gender wage gap in general is reduced in these countries by their family, which utilizes family friendly tax and wage strategies. Child care and parenting is partially outsourced out of the family there, which results in an increased employment rate of women. Furthermore this outsourcing created many job opportunities, which positively influences economy and production over time and encourages further education. In the long run the pool of skilled workers is increased due to the higher training rate and chances are good that these countries will not suffer of shortages of skilled workers in the future compared to other European states.

Gender equality is still a myth or fairy tale in Austria

The wheel of time turns slowly towards gender equality, but at least there is a slow social change, like water drops on a hot stone. Men dominated historically, but luckily our society is changing and gender inequality will change to gender equality. All anti-discrimination campaigns only have a marginal effect, as long as the male-breadwinner model is dominant in our society in Austria.


Updated: 08/24/2013, CADoerr
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CADoerr on 01/31/2013

Well it is not official as far as I know :).

Sam on 01/29/2013

"and even more embarrassing is the fact that there is no male version of the term ‘housewife‘ in Austria." That is interesting, in Germany-German we do have and use the term "Hausmann" since years, I am astonished that it didn't make it "over the border". SY

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