New figures by IMSEE confirm that women in Monaco still earn significantly less than their male counterparts for the same work, with the biggest losses for women seen in the finance industries. Monaco Life spoke to Women’s Rights Delegate Céline Cottalorda about how the government is addressing these glaring disparities.
As part of its report on salaries in Monaco’s private sector in 2022, IMSEE highlighted the pay gap that exists between the genders in the Principality’s private sector.
It shows that, in positions earning €3,500 gross or less per month, the distribution between men and women last year was relatively even. In fact, women’s median salary of €3,103 per month was 1.5% higher than men.
But overall, women earned around 19.2% less than men for full-time work, equivalent to €951 per month. And it is in the higher salaries where the figure becomes significantly disproportionate.
Where are the biggest salary disparities?
The pay gap between women and men varies considerably depending on the sector of activity concerned. In 2022, the median salary of men working in financial and insurance activities was almost 60% higher than that of women or +€2,187. The average salary in this Major Economic Sector (MES) is also more than double that of women: +117.4% or +€5,988.
Women are largely under represented among the top earners in this sector, representing only 18.2% of the top 10% earners, although they account for 49.5% of the sector’s employees.
“The average gender pay gap reflects the under-representation of women among the highest earners,” say the report’s authors. “They account for only 26.8% of the top 10% of earners in 2022, and 16.7% of the top 1%, compared with 35.8% in the private sector as a whole (excluding household staff).”
The pay gap between men and women in Monaco ranges from less than €50 for the lowest paid 60% of employees to up to €1,426 less in the highest paid positions.
On average, men are taking home €4,946 a month, compared to women’s €3,995 for the same work.
How is the government addressing the pay gap?
It is an issue that was analysed by IMSEE in its first ever pay gap report in 2022, which was requested by the Committee for Women’s Rights and that measured both the public and private sectors, taking into account the anomaly of working hours.
“The gender pay gap is undeniable and the government has been working on the creation or adaptation of a tool that could be used in Monaco in order for the private sector to measure regularly the gender pay gaps in their own structure,” Céline Cottalorda, Interministerial Delegate for Women’s Rights, tells Monaco Life. “The purpose is that by making them aware of the existence of this pay gap, they will not be able to ignore it and will be held accountable to correct it. This work is taking time because of Monaco’s particularities regarding the private sector. No tool exists that corresponds to our needs so we are looking for a solution that would work for us.”
Since its creation in 2018, Monaco’s Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Women’s Rights has been campaigning for gender equality and it has been Cottalorda’s role as Chief Officer to implement recommendations and guidelines via partnerships with other institutions in the Principality.
“Finance and insurance sectors are traditionally dominated by men, so it is therefore more difficult for a woman to get into those sectors and succeed in them. But for years now, the Committee of Women’s Rights has been working on changing those stereotypes through campaigns and awareness actions,” says Cottalorda. “We are trying to deconstruct the stereotypes that the new generations could have towards traditionally masculine and feminine jobs and we are working with associations like AFCEM (Association des Femmes Chefs d’Entreprise) and SheCanHeCan to address as many young people as possible, especially girls. Each year, these associations organise a ‘speed mentoring’ session during which young women are invited to encounter women business leaders and exchange one-on-one with them.”
Pay increases also differ according to the genders
In the most unequal sectors, namely financial and insurance activities and wholesale trade, the gaps continue to widen, say the authors of the report. The salaries of the highest-paid men are growing faster than those of the highest-paid women.
Between 2021 and 2022, average male salaries rose by 19.8% in the financial and insurance activities, compared with just 5.6% for women, and by 24.8% in wholesale trade, compared with just 5.7% for women.
In accommodation and food service activities, information and communication, and industry, the gender pay gap is narrowing, with median and average salaries for women growing faster than those for men.
The gender pay gap is also narrowing in construction and real estate activities, but the reduction is marked by a greater increase in the average wages of men compared to women.
Consequences of the gender pay gap
IMSEE’s private sector salaries report and its analysis of the gender pay gap was released on 17th November, about a week before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
As Cottalorda explains, the impact of women earning less than men for the same work can extend far beyond the difference in a bank balance.
“Violence and discrimination against women take different forms and exist in all aspects of our lives,” says Cottalorda. “This discrimination (gender pay gap) is a symptom of violence against women: earning less can place them in a precarious situation of dependence on a partner; they are more likely to leave their job to take care of the home since they earn less than their partner, which can lead to economic and other forms of violence. In the case of domestic violence, it is rare that there is only one violence. Economic violence is the open door to other violence, which is why it is important not to minimise the impact of the gender pay gap over a woman’s life.”
Cottalorda reiterates that the government is working to develop a tool that will effectively measure the differences in salaries among men and women in Monaco, and which will eventually be used in the private sector to hold employees accountable and even-up the playing field.
Join the Monaco Life community – the largest English media in the Principality.