Hungary’s gender-based wage gap worst in Europe according to Eurostat

March 8, 2017

Women protest in Warsaw, Poland, last October. Photograph: Czarek Sokolowski/AP

A survey shows that women in managerial positions in Hungary earn 33.7 percent less than their male counterparts, making Hungary the worst country in Europe for wage inequality based on gender.

The survey released by Eurostat shows that women are underrepresented in management positions across the entire European Union: while women make up around half of all employed people in Europe, they hold only 35 percent of management positions at businesses of 10 employees or more. Only in Latvia do women outnumber men in management, with 53 percent.

Hungary ranks within the top third of countries for proportion of women in managerial positions with 41 percent, edging out the EU average of 35 percent and far outpacing the older EU member states such as Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium, where women fill only around 22 percent of management jobs. Countries such as France and Sweden come in just behind Hungary at 40 percent.

However, the 33.7 percent gap in Hungary between women’s and men’s management salaries makes it the worst offender in Europe, approached only by Italy with a difference of 33.5 percent. After a jump come Hungary’s Visegrád 4 partners, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, with pay differences of 29.7, 28.3 and 27.7 percent respectively.

Compared to other countries in the region, Hungary’s performance looks even darker: Romania, where women hold the same 41 percent of management positions as in Hungary, has the smallest pay gap in Europe between men and women at 5 percent. Wage inequality is also substantially lower in Serbia and Bulgaria with differences of 13 and 15 percent respectively.

Still, women in many Western European countries fare little better than in Hungary: female managers in Austria, Germany, Portugal and the UK all earn roughly 25 percent less than their male counterparts, and there isn’t a single country in Europe where women earn as much as men.

International Women’s Day

Women are organizing demonstrations and strikes in 54 countries around the world on Wednesday for International Women’s Day, including a strike and march in Budapest. Event organizers, via the event’s Facebook page, have called on participants to demonstrate for freedom of choice and reproductive rights, economic self-determination including wage equality, legal measures combating violence against women, and inclusivity in education.

The Budapest march will begin at Astoria at 6 p.m.