Women Driving EU Job Growth

Three out of four new jobs created in the EU are being taken 

by women, but important gaps with men remain, according to a new European Commission report. Despite higher educational achievements, women continue to be employed less – and paid less – than men. The 2007 'Annual report on equality between women and men' will be submitted to EU leaders at the Spring European Council on 8-9 March. The report is the first since the Commission launched its Gender Roadmap and EU leaders adopted the Pact for Gender Equality in March 2006.

"Women are driving job growth in Europe and are helping us reach our economic targets, but they still face too many barriers to realizing their full potential," said Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. "Out of 8 million jobs created in the EU since 2000, 6 million were filled by women, and 59% of university graduates are now female. But while women are outperforming men in educational achievement and boosting Europe's overall employment rate, they are still underpaid, earning on average 15% less than men for every hour worked."

Women's employment rate now stands at 56.3% – or 2.7 points above the 2000 level – compared with a 0.1 percentage point rise for men over the same period, according to the report. Similarly, the employment rate for women over 55 has risen significantly faster than that for men, now standing at 33.7% – almost 7 percentage points more than in 2000.

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