GlobalPost, March 23, 2012
BERLIN, Germany — On average, it will take a German woman until March 23 to earn as much money as a male counterpart earned last year.
That is the extent of Germany’s alarming gender pay gap.
Women’s organizations will be marking the date, dubbed Equal Pay Day, with some 150 events, including podium discussions, film screenings and flash mobs, to try to highlight the fact that, on average, German women earn about a fifth less than men.
They got some heavyweight backing for their cause earlier this month, when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development berated the country for having a 21.6 percent wage gap, the highest in Europe.
In fact Germany’s own figures put the disparity higher — at 23 percent.
“In no other European country is the wage gap between men and women so strong as in Germany,” the OECD wrote in its report.
It also pointed out that women occupy only 4 percent of top corporate jobs in Europe’s economic powerhouse. In Sweden and France the proportion of women serving on company boards is between 15 and 20 percent, and in Norway, which has introduced a mandatory gender quota, it is close to 40 percent. Continue reading