The pay gap between men and women in the Netherlands is growing

The pay gap between men and women in the Netherlands is growing

According to the latest salary survey (Nationaal Salarisonderzoek) by Intermediair and Nyenrode University, the pay gap between women and men has continued to grow over the past two years. Salaries of highly educated employees are also increasing faster than those with a vocational education background.

Women systematically earn less than men

According to the survey, in which more than 43.000 employees participated, women up to the age of 35 earn 6,4 percent less than their male counterparts. Two years ago, this percentage was only 4,9 percent, so it has grown quite significantly in the meantime.

Jaap van Muijen, one of the researchers at Nyenrode University, doesn’t really have an explanation for the gap. He suspects that women perhaps don’t negotiate as much as men when it comes to the salary for their first job. This would mean that men simply start off with a higher salary.

When you look at employees above 35 years old, the gap gets even bigger, amounting to a difference of 9 percent. There is an explanation for this, as “Many women then leave the labour market.” In other words: they have children. When they return to the labour force, they often can’t catch up salary-wise.

Earning less for the same job

It’s true that women often work part-time and in sectors where you generally earn less. However, even corrected for these factors, along with education level and work experience, women still earn less than men. The survey shows that, on average, men earn 8 percent more than women, even if there is no difference in the jobs being done. The sectors where you’ll find the biggest pay gaps are law and finance.

The pay gap between men and women increases the more highly educated the employee is, with women educated at university level earning on average almost 12.000 euros less per year than their male colleagues. Women also work about two hours more per week than agreed upon in their contracts, whilst men only work their contracted hours. Those hours add up to almost three weeks of unpaid work. The research showed that women feel they need to do more work to get the same amount of appreciation and remuneration as men.

Last year, 61 percent of men got a pay rise compared to 52 percent of women. And when it comes to getting pay cuts, more women received one than men, 8,3 percent of women compared to 5,5 percent of men.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment