The gender pay gap in Croatia exists across all sectors of the economy. Despite statistics showing that Croatia is doing better than the EU average in terms of pay equality, the reality is much different. Women in Croatia are paid 6.9 percent less than men for the same work or work of equal value, while the EU average is 13 percent. This gap has been amplified by the negative impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the economy, and has increased again since the end of the epidemic. The gender pay gap is most pronounced in the financial activity and insurance sector, at 26 percent, followed by healthcare and social care at 24 percent, and wholesale and retail trade at around 18 percent.
In a few industries, the average salary of women is actually higher than that of their male colleagues, such as in construction and water supply, wastewater removal, waste management, and environmental rehabilitation. Companies like Philip Morris International branch in Zagreb are making efforts to end gender pay inequality, being the only company in Croatia with an international certificate of equal pay and an equal number of women and men in management positions.
Another company working to bridge the gender pay gap is Kaufland, which does not make any distinctions based on gender and ensures that the salaries of men and women in the same positions are equal through a clearly defined salary system. Similarly, the dm branches in Croatia base their success on equal access to management positions and an equally-valued salary system.
On a larger scale, the EU is taking steps to address the gender pay gap with the adoption of the Directive on salary transparency in June, which prescribes measures and mechanisms for employers to address the pay gap. The directive also requires member states to establish effective, proportionate, and dissuasive sanctions for employers who break the rules.