Working women in Portugal

… still earn less than men

working women

Last weekend saw both Labour Day and Mother’s Day, and the Diario took the occasion to report on the latest statistics regarding women in employment in Portugal.

Website Pordata characterized the profile of the 2.4 million working women in Portugal. They earn less than men and become mothers later and later…

The historical evolution of the employment situation of Portuguese women and mothers is notorious, as shown by Pordata, a statistical database of the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation (FFMS), but there is still a way to go.

There are 2.4 million working women in Portugal, representing half of the employed population. Of these, 88% are employed, 3% are employers and 8% are isolated self-employed workers. The majority, more than 80%, work in the area of services, followed by industry (15.8%) and agriculture and fisheries (1.6%).

Salary difference remains

The salary difference vis-å-vis male workers remains, with this difference being greater among the more qualified groups. They generally earn €220 less per month than they do. But the difference is accentuated at the highest levels: in senior management, women earn €700 less than men and €326 less among highly qualified professionals.

It is in financial and insurance activities that this difference is greatest: they earn €624 less. The health sector follows, with a difference of more than €380, and education, with a difference of €349.

Regarding the European panorama, Portugal is the 9th country in the EU27 with the highest proportion of women. They are around 7 out of 10, with the presence of women increasing by 14 percentage points since 1993.

Motherhood comes later

Pordata reveals that women have been choosing to be mothers for the first time at a later age. Portugal is the 8th country in the European Union where women have their 1st child later. This postponement reduces the likelihood of large families. The average number of children per woman is 1.4 children, but for the replacement of generations to be ensured, each woman must have an average of 2.1 children.

Most mothers end up accumulating motherhood with work. Only 1 in 10 babies are born to mothers who are not in the workforce. In 1995, they were almost 4 out of 10. In 2019, according to this study, more than half of babies born to women aged 30-34 were their first children. And among women aged 35-39 it’s almost 4 out of 10 babies.

Women gaining on boards and in politics

Despite these circumstances, almost 1/3 of the positions on the boards of directors of listed companies are held by women. Portugal is the 11th EU27 country with the highest weight of women on corporate boards, when before 2010 the weight of women was less than 5%. The number of female employers has also increased sixfold from the mid-1970s.

Women are gaining ground in politics. “The weight of women in the national parliament doubled between 2003 and 2021, with Portugal ranking 7th in Europe with the highest weight of women in the legislative assembly (41%). Only Sweden and Finland have more than 45%, but in neither country are they in the majority.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

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