Gender pay gap

Women still earned 5% less than men in 2022

Work & training
Women still earned 5% less than men in 2022

In 2022, the gender pay gap, i.e. the difference in hourly wages between women and men, amounted to 5.0%. This means that in 2022, women earned on average 5.0% less per hour than their male colleagues. However, compared to ten years ago, the gender pay gap decreased by 3.3 percentage points, but did not change compared to 2021.

This is the result of the calculation of the gender pay gap, harmonised at European level, published by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.

By age, we see that the gender pay gap is negative (-0,2%) for workers under 25. It then increases significantly with age to 4.4% among the 35-44-year-olds and even 8.5% among the 55-64-year-olds.

By economic activity, the gender pay gap is negative in two sectors, namely "Mining and quarrying" (-3,9%) and "Arts, entertainment and recreation" (-0,2%). In all the other sectors, men earn on average more than their female colleagues. This pay gap is the largest in the sectors "Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities" and "Information and communication", since it amounts to 11.0% in both sectors.

At international level, Belgium performs better than most of the other European countries in terms of pay gap between women and men. Only Luxembourg, Italy and Romania have a smaller gender pay gap.

Gender Pay gap

Gender pay gap = (hourly wage for men - hourly wage for women) / hourly wage for men
* Greece and Ireland: figures from 2018

The gender pay gap represents the difference between the average gross hourly wages of women and men, expressed as a percentage of the average pay for men. It is expressed as follows:

Gender pay gap = (hourly wage for men - hourly wage for women) / hourly wage for men

The gender pay gap is calculated based on the survey on earnings. The statistical population consists of all employees in enterprises:

  • with at least 10 employees;
  • whose main economic activity is classified under the NACE Rev.2 sections B-S (-O).

There are no restrictions according to age or working hours. The gender pay gap therefore includes both full-time and part-time employees.

The concept of “wage” applied includes paid overtime as well as premiums that are paid at each payment period. Examples include premiums for night or weekend shifts. Premiums that are only paid exceptionally, such as thirteenth-month pay or double holiday pay, are excluded.

All the EU Member States apply the same harmonised concepts and methods for the calculation of the gender pay gap. This makes it possible to compare the Belgian situation with the pay gap in the other EU Member States.