The Gender Pay Gap

On 5 April, Austria marked its Equal Pay Day -- the day that women's average earnings matched men's average annual income in 2011. Yet some media outlets questioned the maths.

News | Vienna Review | May 2012





Wages: The Truth About Inequality, 4 April

by Gernot Bauer and Robert Treichler

The allegedly scandalous wage discrimination on the basis of gender does not exist to the extent that is claimed.

Yet maintaining a sense of victimhood makes it easier for women politicians of all stripes to push through their political interests…

The unadjusted gender pay gap simply shows the difference in the average incomes of men and women. Yet the adjusted version enables us to rule out explicable differences, by considering personal and job-related factors that influence an employee’s salary…

In the end, a pay difference of about 12% remains, which cannot be explained on the basis of available data. But the study’s authors point out that a part of those 12% could be due to factors such as employees’ career motivation and initiative.




Women don’t want it enough, 5 April

by Friedericke Leibl

Despite all the criticism, there is still that gap – so belittlingly called "the remainder". Experts have a host of ideas why women earn 12% less: because they don’t bargain hard, because they want less, or lack confidence. But also because they are averse to risk, preferring fixed salaries to an income that is linked to the company’s success or their own performance. If those factors are indeed responsible, and are really gender-specific, the upshot is still the same: women earn leass because they are women.

The reason that women are under-represented in leadership positions, people often say, is not just that men keep them down. Rather, women supposedly don’t really want to be leaders. They always have doubts. They want to be liked rather than respected. Yet those stereotypes are contradicted by the fact that women are high performers at schools and universities. Why should their motivation drop when they start working? Could it be, that they encounter different opportunities there than men?

Other articles from this issue