Luxembourg’s gender pay gap between men and women who went on to higher education is among the lowest in the OECD countries
Luxembourg’s gender pay gap between men and women who went on to higher education is among the lowest in the OECD countries, but is this gap distorted by something else?
The “Education at a Glance 2017” report from the OECD found that 35-44 year-old tertiary-educated women earned on average 90% of what their male peers earned, compared with the OECD average of 76%.
But this occurrence may also be skewed by another phenomenon specific to Luxembourg--teacher salaries. In contrast with most OECD countries, teachers in Luxemburg report higher actual earnings than other full-time tertiary-educated workers.
The report highlighted that Luxembourg primary teachers benefited from the highest starting salary of all teachers in other OECD countries, at $68,348, compared to the OECD average of $29,000.
The wage gap between teachers in Luxembourg and in other countries was even greater at secondary level, with starting salaries of $79,312, more than twice the OECD average of $32,059 for lower secondary and $33,681 for teachers at upper secondary level.
The report said that teachers tended to earn more than adults who had studied at higher education in general in Luxembourg. For example, a primary school teacher earns 10% more than other adults who had a tertiary education. The gap was 26% for secondary school teachers.
In this area, Luxembourg bucks the trend in other OECD countries, where primary school teachers earn 21% less and secondary teachers between 10 and 14% less.
The report said the only other countries to report a similar trend were Finland (for secondary education), Latvia and Portugal.
With that in mind one should not ignore the fact that with 10,471 teachers, the profession makes up 2.4% of the country’s total labour force.
Another factor that may distort the gender pay gap in Luxembourg among tertiary-educated workers is the high prevalence of women who have completed higher education. Statec figures showed that in 2013-14, there were two thirds women in some faculties, such as faculty of letters, humanities, the arts, science and education.