Work and income

In Finland, employment rates for women and men have been quite similar for a long time. In 2022, the employment rate was 73.9 percent for men and 73.8 percent for women. 

Women are employed in part-time and fixed-term jobs more often than men. Men have longer working weeks than women, and men's jobs involve more uncertainty than women’s jobs.

Women account for approximately one-third and men for two-thirds of Finland’s entrepreneurs.

Men start their careers in more demanding positions than women, and women are still less likely to hold managerial positions than men. Women who work as managers are often employed in various support tasks, such as human resources and communications.

Gender-based segregation in working life

The labour market in Finland is strongly segregated according to gender. Women are more often employed in the municipal sector and men in the private sector.  As entrepreneurs, men and women also work in sectors that are segregated by gender.

The most female-dominated sectors in 2022 were

  • health and social services, women 85%
  • other services including third sector organizations, women 73%
  • education, women 69%.

The most male-dominated sectors in 2022 were

  • construction, men 90%
  • transportation and storage, men 79%
  • agriculture, forestry and fishery and mining, men 75%.

Equal occupations are professions in which both men and women hold at least 40 percent of the jobs. In 2021, only ten percent of wage earners worked in equal professions. 

Gender pay gap

The pay gap between women and men has decreased slowly in Finland. In 2022, the average earnings of women were 84 percent of the amount earned by men throughout the labour market. 

The pay gap is based on several factors. Women and men work in different fields and jobs. In many female-dominated sectors, pay is lower than in male-dominated sectors. Income development is stronger for men than for women, and on average men achieve their peak earnings at a younger age than women. Pay development among women is slowed by longer family leaves than men.

It should be noted that in Finland, education cannot be used as a reason to justify higher salaries for men. Women are more educated than men, but women have lower average earnings than men at all levels of education.

The pay gap also affects pensions. Women's average pension in Finland is 80 percent of men's average pension.

On other websites

Equality in working life
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

The Equal Pay Programme 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health