Gender Gap: Only 6% of working women ranked among the best paid employees

Salary differences between men and women are a persistent global issue referred to as the “Gender Gap”. Almost everywhere in the world, the average salary of men is higher than that of women. This is, to a large extent, caused by the fact that women generally work in professions with lower financial compensation. The distribution of women across the individual salary brackets is significantly different than men. While a significantly higher percentage of women perform work falling within the lowest income group, at the same time, compared to women a higher percentage of working men perform work for which they receive the highest salary in the market.

This is, to a large extent, related to the fact that only a few women work in top management positions. These are some of the findings of the analysis performed by the international salary portal

How many working women reach the highest income level in their country?

Only about 6% of all employed women ranked among the top tenth of the highest paid employees. For the sake of comparison, as many as 13% of working men belong to this group. Paylab has been monitoring the salary situation for women working in countries where it operates its localised salary portals. Slovenia has the highest percentage of women in the highest wage class (8%).

As the Paylab Compensation Monitor suggests it is twice as common to have a male manager than having a female manager. Naturally, managerial positions receive the best financial compensation.

To a large extent, this is due to the fact that women historically did not have as good conditions for career moves as their male counterparts. On the other hand, employers are frequently faced with the fact that women are not as interested in these positions as men are. In particular, working mothers tend to avoid the higher paying management positions, which are demanding emotionally and in terms of time and are difficult to combine with family life.

An interesting fact is that we still find differences even when we compare the salaries of the highest decile of the best paid women and their male counterparts. On average, the salaries of these women only reach 78% of the average salary of the highest earning men. To a large extent, this is due to the fact that women much more frequently occupy managerial positions in the less progressive branches of industry, such as administration and specialist non-technical work, which also impacts the overall statistics.

best paid women leaders Paylab

Salary differences differ by country

All in all, the most significant sex-based salary differences are in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where the average wage difference is 28 to 30% in favour of men. In contrast, Croatia and Slovenia are the countries when men earn 10 to 11% on average more than women.

overall media salary gender gap europe paylab

Choice of profession and career growth ambitions impact salaries the most

Women's choice of a working position impacts their salaries the most, as each position has a certain value on the labour market. It is not uncommon nowadays that women find careers in well-paid positions. However, it is still a fact that a great portion of women work in positions with lower financial compensation.

These are usually first-contact jobs such as assistant, receptionist, nurse, accountant, client service, customer support or HR specialist, teacher, waitress, shop assistant, and social or administrative worker.

As many as 15% of all employed women work for the lowest wage. In contrast, only 7% of the decile containing the lowest paid employees are men. Among the monitored countries, the highest share of women in the low income group (1st decile) is found in Slovakia (18 %), the Czech Republic (16 %), Bulgaria (16 %) and Finland (16 %).

the worst paid job women decile paylab

It is important to compare the salary accoding to the same position

The salary difference should be as small as possible when a man and a woman occupy the same position in the same branch of industry or in the same company. Here the salary can only differ due to experience or skills. Sex-based salary differences are discriminatory. Companies should monitor the salaries of men and women working in the same position, because men are usually more assertive when negotiating the terms of employment. To a large extent, this is related to the fact that men have higher salary expectations when starting their employment. The advice of to women, is: don't be afraid to negotiate and keep monitoring the salary attributable to your position. In its blog, Paylab also analyses the 7 most significant factors helping to reduce the gender gap.


Daniela Beráková, Communication & Content Manager for

Profesia, s.r.o., Pribinova 19, 811 09 Bratislava, Slovakia

Tel.: +421 2 32 20 91 89, Mobile: +421 905 761 264, e-mail:

Articles about salaries

Paylab Diversity Study: Employees who work in mixed teams have fewer prejudices

Employees who encounter a diverse mix of people in terms of age, origin and ethnicity, parenthood and physical disabilities at their current workplace have fewer prejudices and are more open to accepting those who are different from them. Workplace experience with diversity helps break down barriers. Those who experience diversity with respect to their fellow employees are up to twice as accommodating and open with respect to a positive perception of marginalised groups at work compared to employees who don’t have the same workplace diversity. This was confirmed in all nine countries that participated in the international Paylab Diversity Study.

Paylab Diversity Study: in which workplaces do employees have diverse working teams?

The international Paylab Diversity Study shows that four in ten employees in Europe do not experience diversity at their current workplace. This diversity involves the composition of employees at the workplace from a variety of aspects. Paylab focused on 6 key areas: age, maternity, origin, ethnicity or nationality, physical disability and sexual identity/orientation. These aspects often represent a barrier to employment. The goal of the study was to determine the extent to which employees in work teams come into contact with foreigners, members of minority and ethnic groups, persons with physical disabilities, mothers of small children, employees over the age of 55 and persons with a different sexual orientation/identity.

Expected vs Real Salaries – What to Consider During a Career Change?

Analysis from Paylab, an international salary portal, suggests that people who are entering the labour market for the first time have the most ambitious expectations with regard to their salaries. The older the job applicants are, the more realistic are their salary expectations. In addition, they have a tendency to undervalue their potential salary at a job position with which they had no prior experience. The most ambitious salary expectations can be seen with employees under 24 years old. On average, Generation Z – that is, current graduates and labour market newbies – expect a salary that is about 9 percent higher than real salaries in this age group.