The more you know, the less you earn

SEAN GALLUP/Getty Images News European newspaper columnists often lament that Europe’s best and brightest are leaving for greener pastures. But brain drain is only part of the problem with European labor. Europe is also undervaluing the brain power of half of those who stay behind. A recent report by the European Commission (pdf) finds that ...

600472_070720_germany_05.jpg
600472_070720_germany_05.jpg

SEAN GALLUP/Getty Images News

European newspaper columnists often lament that Europe's best and brightest are leaving for greener pastures. But brain drain is only part of the problem with European labor. Europe is also undervaluing the brain power of half of those who stay behind.

A recent report by the European Commission (pdf) finds that women are still earning an average of 15 percent less than their male counterparts. The gender pay gap has shrunk by only 2 percent over the last decade or so, and there's no evidence that it's narrowing.

SEAN GALLUP/Getty Images News

European newspaper columnists often lament that Europe’s best and brightest are leaving for greener pastures. But brain drain is only part of the problem with European labor. Europe is also undervaluing the brain power of half of those who stay behind.

A recent report by the European Commission (pdf) finds that women are still earning an average of 15 percent less than their male counterparts. The gender pay gap has shrunk by only 2 percent over the last decade or so, and there’s no evidence that it’s narrowing.

And here’s the most baffling detail: It’s better-educated women who are being underpaid the most. Statistics show that women with higher degrees earn 30 percent less than their male counterparts, whereas for jobs with fewer qualifications the gap is only 13 percent. Maybe they should start teaching Bargaining 101 in European universities.

Erica Alini is a Rome-based researcher for the Associated Press.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.