A workforce study by Statistics Estonia has again raised the issue of income inequality between men and women in Estonia, which is among the biggest in the EU.
Since 50 percent of 30- to 34-year-old women have a college degree compared to only 28 percent of men in the same age group, women's salaries might be expected to trump men's. Moreover, the education gap between men and women is the highest in the EU; the average for attaining higher education was 40 percent among women and 32 percent among men.
But on the contrary, the average gross hourly salary for women was 25 percent lower than that of men in 2012. Chief analyst Mihkel Servinski says in a blog that this seems to indicate that higher education is a waste of time, at least as far as earning a higher salary is concerned.
Nevertheless, Servinski notes, another recent analysis of census data links higher education with improved quality of life.
"If the salary gap is to the detriment of women and the education gap to the detriment of men, then what is wrong with this picture?“ Servinski asks.
"I don't know the exact answer [...] I am convinced that if we are able to find the right answer, then we will have obtained the key to a successful future for Estonia.“