Having a lower employment rate and accumulating less experience and salary in the labour market, does not only mean to have less opportunities now but also your pension rights will be limited at the age of 65.
Even if we think this is far away, it is important to know that the extent of differences will be determined by your national pension calculation system – if calculated on several years only or on life span.
Lower salaries, part-time work and career breaks, to be able to take care of dependants, lead to women receiving less in pensions than men. This is reflected in a greater risk of old-age poverty among women in Europe (EIGE 2020).
The poverty gender gap has increased in 14 Member States since 2010 and in 21 Member State since 2017. Poverty or social exclusion are concentrated among certain particularly vulnerable groups: lone mothers, women above 65 years of age, women and men with disabilities or with a low level of education, and migrant populations (EU, 2020).
Women are more likely to be employed in non-standard, temporary and part-time employment. This type of work provides you more flexibility to combine family and working duties but besides a lower pay it also reduces your income, your pay to the pension system and they diminish your access to training opportunities, social protection and other services.
The problem gets even more severe when part-time work is combined with low income. Whilst women in higher positions might be able to manage their life with a contract with less hours and might have return options to full time work, less qualified workers are affected by less chances of finding and keeping a job, returning to full time work at a later stage and perspectives to further develop their qualifications, in many cases even depending on the income of their partner.
The rapidly changing requirements in workplace absences or limited access to training might exclude you from professional careers which men can pursue more easily.