In the EU, including Greece, women continue to face a persistent wage gap, earning 13% less on average than their male counterparts, according to OECD figures. Women in Greece also have a higher rate of unemployment, part-time employment and lower wages compared to men in similar age groups. Moreover, they remain significantly underrepresented in leadership positions, the international organization reported.

In Greece specifically, 52.4% of women are registered as employed  –  a figure that does not include the “underground” or “grey economy” – ranking second lowest in the EU,  after Italy’s 52.3%. Women also contend with an unemployment rate nearly double that of men, with the gap nearing 5 percentage points.

The “underground” economy in Greece, amongst the largest in Europe, includes entire castes of professionals, such as craftsmen, hairdressers, private tutors, cleaners etc.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) research, 13.8% of employed women in Greece work part-time, compared to only 5.1% of men, highlighting a significant disparity in working arrangements and consequently, earnings.

Official data from the Greek labor ministry reveals that the average daily wage for women in Greece stands at 28.68 euros, slightly lower than the 29.44 euros earned by men.

A survey conducted by the Greek Federation of Enterprises (SEV) echoes these findings, indicating that women earn on average 13% less than men, with women’s gross wages amounting to 1,115 euros compared to 1,284 euros for men.

Eurostat’s analysis of the gender pay gap, based on average gross hourly earnings, highlights the extent of inequality. In 2021, women in the EU earned 12.7% less than men on average. This translates to women receiving 0.87 euros for every 1 euro earned by men for the same work.

Acknowledging the existing inequalities, in June 2023, the EU adopted the Pay Transparency Directive to bolster equal pay enforcement. The incorporation of the directive into Greek law is expected to be completed by June 2026.

Compared to others parts of the world, however, EU member-states fare as among the best in criteria for women’s employment.