Gender, Work & Organisation

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Volume 26 Issue 5 (June 2019), Pages 593-764

Variations of the same? A sectoral analysis of the gender pay gap in Germany and Austria (pages 668-687)

Germany and Austria are two countries with a comparably and persistently high gender pay gap. Further, both countries are classified as conservative welfare states where the male breadwinner model has been only partly modernized and strong corporatist structures shape working conditions. At the same time, welfare policy and provision are not only based on but also shape gender‐related norms, beliefs and assumptions that are virulent for job valuation and collective bargaining. Against this background the article analyses similarities and differences regarding the gender pay gap in Germany and Austria. While both countries show significant similarities regarding the causes for the gender pay gap, there are some differences regarding legislation and further policies with which the gender pay gap could be reduced. Arguing that the institutional framework strongly influences income opportunities for women and men, the article provides a sectoral analysis of the financial and insurance sector and the human health sector in both countries. Using qualitative data from a recent research project, it is argued that in the classification of a sector as ‘female’, the sectoral income level combined with different wage‐setting mechanisms have a crucial impact on wage inequalities between women and men.

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