Women in Germany earn 18% less than men as gender pay gap persists

BERLIN (Reuters) – Women in Germany earned 18% less on average than men last year, due largely to a levelling-off in earnings after having children and taking part-time work, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday.

The data show that the gender pay gap in Europe’s biggest economy has remained unchanged since 2020. That is down from 23% when records started in 2006.

On an adjusted basis, the gender pay gap for 2023 was 6%, said the office.

Women’s earnings start to stagnate from the age of 30 years, the average age for women to have their first child in Germany, said the office, while men continue to earn more.

“This could be because women interrupt their careers more frequently during their working lives for family reasons and work part time,” said the Office, adding that career advancement and pay rises are therefore less frequent.

On average, women earned 20.84 euros per hour, compared with 25.30 euros for men. However, at 7%, the gap is far narrower in the former communist East compared with 19% in western Germany.

A study published on Wednesday showed the number of women at the helm of Germany’s top companies is shrinking.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Miranda Murray)