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Female health professionals earn over £7,000 less than men in Europe

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·3 min read
France is the best country in Europe to be a female healthcare professional, according to a study. Photo: Lenstore
France is the best country in Europe to be a female healthcare professional, according to a study. Photo: Lenstore

Female health professionals earn a total of £28,100 ($38,646) on average in Europe, some £7,038 less than their male counterparts, according to new data.

The study by Lenstore, which analysed average working hours, yearly salary, holiday allowance and the number of women in the industry, revealed that overall France was the best country in Europe to be a female healthcare professional.

The nation was home to the highest number of females studying medicine at 109,849 (63% of students), which is more than double any other country analysed.

It is also generous in the amount of holidays females in the health profession receive, equating to 34 days per year – the second highest in Europe, with Slovenia taking the top spot with 35 days.

France was followed by the Netherlands, Finland, Slovenia and Denmark, which made up the top 5 places, respectively.

Chart: Lenstore
France was followed by the Netherlands, Finland, Slovenia and Denmark, which made up the top 5 places, respectively. Chart: Lenstore

Dutch female health professionals receive the lowest weekly working hours in all of Europe at just 25 hours, and an average salary of £38,471, whilst Finland is home to the health service with the fourth-highest percentage of women working in it at 86%.

The UK came in sixth place overall, with average female pay at £30,059, lower than the £43,953 average annual salary for men.

Britain also had lower working hours than many of the top 10 countries, and ranked fourth overall for the number of females studying medicine.

Rounding off the top 10 was Latvia, Estonia, Spain and Sweden, while Malta, Belgium and Italy all ranked in the bottom 10 countries to be a female health professional in Europe.

READ MORE: Lockdown measures could widen gender pay gap in UK

According to a survey from SD Worx, employees across Europe consider their salary package as the most important aspect of their job.

Switzerland paid female health professionals the best, with an average salary of £65,718, however, this was still 19% less than men. Iceland and Luxembourg pulled in silver and bronze for the best paid countries.

Roshni Patel from Lenstore said: “Our health services across the globe have become immensely important over the last 12 months since the COVID-19 pandemic, as millions have relied on them more than ever before. With the heroic work of nurses and doctors inspiring many to pursue a career in the industry, it’s important to consider the opportunities and gender equality women can expect.

“With the NHS being at the crux of the UK health sector, it’s great to see the country ranking as the sixth-best place in Europe to be a female health professional. The country has a particularly exciting future in the industry for women due to its high figures of females studying medicine at the moment.

READ MORE: UK's gender pay gap among all employees at 15.5% in 2020

In November last year, the Labour party said that more than 8 million working women will have retired by the time the UK achieves equal pay.

The gap in average earnings will not be closed until 2052 if progress only continues at the pace seen over the past decade, according to analysis by the UK’s main opposition party.

Some 8.5 million female workers in their mid-30s or older will have reached the state pension age by the time Britain reaches the milestone, the figures suggest.

Labour called for new rights for female workers to find out how much male colleagues are being paid to do the same work, by updating equal pay legislation.

It also demanded a review into the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis on women, and confirmation that large employers will have to resume gender pay gap reporting in March.

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