Austrian women are earning on average 23.4 percent less than men in the country, according to Statistik Austria.
Many women in Austria only have part time jobs but often also bear responsibility for unpaid jobs such as childcare and domestic housework.
“This is very traditional in Austria – that women do unpaid jobs and men concentrate on paid jobs,” says Ines Stilling, Head of Women and Gender Equality at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Women’s Affairs.
A lack of affordable childcare places means women cannot quickly return to work and often have to take part time work, which leads to themon average being under presented in senior posts and getting paid less. Over the course of their career therefore, women earn less in lifetime which means they also have lower pensions.
Compared to other EU countries Austria has one of the largest gender wage gaps. The EU average of the gender pay gap was 16.4 percent in 2012. Despite this, Austria is known as having some of the highest quality of life in the world, as well as some of the lowest unemployment levels in Europe.
There are some initiatives that help women ensure they are getting paid the same as their male counterparts. The Austrian Law on Equal Treatment forces employers to publish the average employee wage by occupational groups and gender, which gives women the opportunity to see if they should be earning a higher salary.