16 November 2022, by Victoria Séveno

According to figures published by the Dutch statistics office, the Netherlands still has a long way to go when it comes to closing the gender pay gap. Data from 2020 shows that men working in the private business sector earn around 5 euros an hour, or 19 percent, more than their female counterparts.

Dutch employers continue to pay female workers less than men

Every two years, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) publishes figures about the difference between the salaries earned by men and women working in the Netherlands. Between 2008 and 2020, Dutch employers made limited progress in the pay gap between the genders across all industries and sectors. 

Within the government, the gap in salaries shrunk by 2 percentage points between 2018 and 2020, falling from 8 percent to 6 percent, down from 16 percent in 2008. While the Dutch government has worked successfully to reduce the pay gap between men and women in governmental and civil service roles, figures from the private sector tell a different story. 

Over the course of 12 years, the pay gap for jobs in the business sector fell from 22 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2016, where it has remained for the last four years. While this does signify some progress, it marks only a minor improvement. 

The Netherlands has done little to close the gender pay gap

Overall, CBS calculates that, “when corrected for differences between men and women in, for example, level of education, job level, work experience and age”, the wage gap in both the governmental and business sectors fell by 1 percentage point between 2018 and 2020, shrinking the gap to 3 percent and 6 percent respectively. 

The statistics office also points out that the difference between salaries is greater when it comes to permanent work contracts compared to flexible employment. Women with permanent contracts working in the business sector earn an average of 9 percent less than men. 

Men are also more likely to occupy leadership positions within teams and companies. In the business sector, just one out of every three leadership roles was filled by women. Within the government, this figure was slightly higher, at two out of five.

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