Gender Pay Gap in Poland


Gender pay gap and its level in Poland


Statistically, a woman performing the same or comparable work as a man, earns less. This problem, known as the „gender pay gap” has been analysed in many studies and occurs all over the world. In Poland, depending on the method for selecting data and calculations, women earn, on average, by 7% to 18.5% less than men (which translates to the salary lower by, on average, PLN 700). According to the Eurostat data (2014), Poland is characterised by one of the lowest value of the gender pay gap in the European Union – the difference in earnings is, in fact, 7.7% [1]  to the detriment of women, while the EU average is 16.7% (the difference between the average gross hourly rate in the whole sector of the economy). The higher is the position, the larger are the differences in the salaries between women and men – in managerial positions, this difference in Poland is 27.7% i.e. by 4.3 pp. more than the EU average . [2]


Reasons for pay inequalities


The gender pay gap is a complex phenomenon, because it arises from the co-existence of many factors affecting the situation of women and men in the labour market. They include the objective differences, such as different education, professional experience, or profession practised. There are also the factors on which employees have a smaller impact – such as labour market segregation, or the length of service resulting from the performed social roles. The lower salaries of women are also determined by their lower self-esteem – Polish women misjudge their job opportunities and have lower financial expectations than men [3]. Both in a group of young workers (unemployed graduates below 30), as well as other unemployed persons, financial expectations of women are lower, respectively, by PLN 303 and PLN 366 [4].


Many companies constantly monitor the average salaries in relation to the specific groups of employees. The reference point is usually the average for the entire company or for the specific department. Not denying such an approach, the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy suggest to estimate the so-called „adjusted pay gap”, under which the salaries of employees are compared, taking into account the characteristics such as: gender, age, education, position held, working time and length of service.


Ministry’s application to measure the gender pay gap


Guaranteeing the equal salary for the same work or for work of the same value is not only a legal duty of every employer, but also entails many benefits – is an expression of creating attractive jobs that attract the most talented persons and motivate the existing personnel. This, in turn, translates into increasing the competitiveness of the given employer.


To make it easier for the interested employers to verify whether they pay their employees the same money for the same work, the Ministry prepared a computer application „Equal salaries” allowing an easy way to estimate the differences in the salaries of employees, taking into account their gender, age, education and other selected characteristics. The application is available free of charge. It is to help all those who employ employees, in developing a pay policy which is informed and non-discriminatory on the grounds of gender.


[1] In accordance with the latest CSO forecast, the gender pay gap index, consistent with the Eurostat methodology for 2016, amounted to 7.2% i.e. was by 0.5 pp lower than in 2014.

[2] Data for 2014, Eurostat press materials Eurostatu 38/2017 Women in managerial positions,

[3] As confirmed by, inter alia, Labour Market Surveys, conducted by the National Bank of Poland, various years

[4] Own study by Sedlak & Sedlak based on Human Capital Balance Population Survey 2010 – 2015

up Last update: 19-10-2018
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