Women are paid between 15% and 20% less than men for doing the same job

Women are paid between 15% and 20% less than men for doing the same job

If the current pace of change remains the same, it will take around 45 years to remove the wage gap between the sexes in Malaga province

Cristina Vallejo


Friday, 3 March 2023


The gender pay gap, the difference between what men and women earn, varies depending on which source is used to measure it. But the disadvantage of being a female in the workplace is a given regardless, according to any fact or figure consulted. And this is true across all the regions of Spain. But this is also a global phenomenon. At the European level, February 22nd marked the annual date in the calendar to make a claim for equal pay.

This salary gap that women suffer from men may be due to several reasons which can overlap: either women are the ones who occupy lower positions in the salary scale due to 'glass ceilings' that are difficult to break or 'sticky floors' at the lowest levels of the pyramid to which they remain attached without being able to advance; or women take charge of the tasks that are generally less well paid; and finally, in addition, female workers tend to have contracts of a shorter duration and lower quality.

If we take the figures on salary perceptions from the Agencia Tributaria, the national tax agency, relating to the 2021 financial year (the latest available), the average annual salary of men in Spain is 23,724 euros, while that of women is limited to 19,011 euros, some 19.86% less.

In Malaga province, the gender wage gap is similar to the Spanish average, at 20.05%, with an average male salary of 20,003 euros and the female salary of 15,992 euros. The difference in Malaga is slightly below the Andalusian average (20.77%) and also of other provinces such as Cadiz (26.32%) or Huelva (28.27%), as well as Seville, where the salary difference between genders exceeds 23%. But Almeria (12.53%), Jaén (14.29%) and Granada (15.56%) have narrower wage gaps.

If, instead of using the data from the tax agency, the average salaries published by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations are used, the figures are different. In this way, in Malaga, in September 2022, the pay gap would be close to 15% between the 1,624.30 euros for which, on average, women are paid and the 1,909.20 euros for men. Also in this case the salary difference almost coincides with the Spanish average (the difference between the 1,827.10 euros for women and 2,134.80 euros for men is 14.41%).

This data reflects a narrowing of the gender wage gap compared to pre-pandemic levels. Figures from the Agencia Tributaria show that in 2019 men in Malaga earned 21.55% more than women. And the difference indicated by the average salary was 16% three years ago. According to the CSIF union for public employees, at the current rate, it would take 48 years to achieve pay equality in Spain. And the Commission's Borers union sets this objective for Malaga within 45 years, if the current rates of slow improvement are maintained.

But the wage gap is not the only job gap that exists. Women continue to participate less in the labor market than men. Both in Spain as a whole and in Malaga province, the female activity rate is around 53%. But the activity rate for men in the province is close to 61% and in Spain it exceeds 63.5%. Unemployment also affects women more than men: While the male unemployment rate was at 17.48% in Malaga at the end of 2022, the female rate was four points higher, at 21.38%.

In addition, only 38% of people with a full-time permanent contract are women, while they represent almost 70% of part-time permanent contracts.

Temporary employment also has a female face and this record is getting worse: Women have gone from representing 36% of Social Security contributors with a full-time temporary contract in 2019 to more than 50% in 2023. In addition, all these inequalities come together at retirement age, when they are also paid less.

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