New figures show gender income inequality still an issue

Danish women continue to earn less than men, new report shows

Danish women earn less than their male counterparts, according to a new report from Statistics Denmark.

Whether looking at ordinary employees, the self-employed or retirees, the disposable income of women in 2012 was less than that of men. Only among the unemployed do women bring in more money than men.

According to the report, the average annual disposable income for women in 2012 was 186,000 kroner – roughly 36,000 kroner less than men's. The difference between women and men is even greater when comparing the employed. Working women had 241,000 kroner in disposable income – 42,000 kroner less than employed men. And according to a consumer economist at Sydbank, men's disposable income increased at a rate higher than women's throughout 2012.

Only unemployed women come out better
Only among the group of unemployed and recipients of social benefits do women fare better than men. Statistics Denmark says that is because women receive more in child and family aid and housing aid than men.

Karen Sjørup, lecturer at Roskilde University's Institute of Society and Globalisation, told Politiken newspaper that the figures emphasise that it should pay to work.

"It's not because women get too much aid, but because they get too little out of working," Sjørup said.

Sjørup suggests that the inequality can be reduced by making proper evaluations of a job's value. In Sweden and Canada, she says, there have been attempts to more accurately set wages after the skills that are required for the job. Sjørup told Politiken she remains optimistic on behalf of women, and said that a proper education is the best weapon for negotiating a better wage.





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.