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Wage gap: Male engineers still favoured over females, trade union says

Women in the science and tech sector are often overlooked when it's time for promotions, according to the group.

On average, highly-educated female engineers earn roughly 95 percent that of their male counterparts, according to TEK, the Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland. Image: AOP

There is a wage gap of about five percent between men and women who work in the science and technology sector, according to trade union TEK, the Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland.

On average, highly-educated female engineers, for example, earn roughly 95 percent that of their male counterparts, according to the union.

However the salary differences are not seen until workers of both genders reach the age of 35, according to the union. As they enter the workforce after university studies, male and female engineers are paid equally but once they turn 35, women's salaries start to fall behind men's.

TEK attributed the wage gap to men generally climbing the career ladder more quickly than women.

However, Susanna Bairoh, TEK's head of research, said the trajectories of women's careers are often hampered by unconscious attitudes and work culture, saying that men generally find it easier to be in the science sector and their know-how is not constantly questioned.

"I don't think those who favour [promoting] men always know that it is going on. But the fact that men are favoured [in managerial positions] can mean that competence or expertise within a company can go unused," Bairoh said.