Poland ahead of EU average for lowest gender pay gap - EC

Poland is among the leading countries in the EU for equal pay between men and women, according to a ranking presented by the European Commission (EC) to mark European Equal Pay Day, which falls on November 4.

"Women in the European Union still earn on average 16 percent less than men, a slight improvement from last year's 16.2 percent," the EC's website states. This year, the European Equal Pay Day falls on 4 November. It marks the day when women, symbolically from this day on, work for free. This means that, when compared to their male colleagues’ salaries, women work 2 months out of 12 for free.

According to the latest data made available by the EC, the gender pay gap is the lowest in Romania, at 3.5 percent, Luxembourg and Italy (5 percent each), Belgium (6 percent) and Poland (7 percent). Next come Slovenia (8 percent), Croatia (11.6 percent), Malta (12.2 percent), Greece (12.5 percent) and Sweden (12.6 percent). Great Britain is 25th in the ranking with a pay gap of 20.8 percent, followed by Germany (21 percent), the Czech Republic (21.1 percent) and in last place Estonia (25.6 percent).

Among the causes of pay inequality, the EC highlights the fact that women work part-time more often, struggle with the so-called corporate 'glass ceiling,' work in lower-paid sectors and are often the main child-carers.

"Pay differences also depend on gender stereotypes and discrimination," the EC website reads. "The relative weights of these causes cannot be known without more pay transparency."