Closing the gap

A look at women’s economic and social achievements in Malta since 2019.

In light of the Woman’s Day celebration today, The Journal has looked at trends in a number of economic and social indicators over the past four years.

Employment rate

While between 2013 and 2019, the employment rate of Maltese women almost reached the European average – unlike in 2012, Malta had the worst rate in Europe – since then the female employment rate has exceeded the European average and has become one of the highest. The female employment rate in Malta exceeded 73%, or 11 percentage points more than its 2019 level. Back in 2012 it was around 45%.

Women in employment

The number of women in work has increased from just over 102,000 in 2019 to almost 127,000 in 2023, implying an average monthly increase of 515 more women working since January 2020.


Almost two in three of these new female workers were graduates, as for the first time the number of graduate women in Malta exceeded the 100,000 mark. From a position of under 95,000 women holding tertiary qualifications in 2019, today we have about 110,500.

Quality careers

Despite the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic and the subsequent international shocks, the labour market still generated a huge number of quality careers. As a result, the number of women in a managerial or professional position rose from less than 43,000 to 55,600 in just four years. This means that, since January 2020, these high-end careers have increased by almost 30%. In fact, it was women who benefited most from the jump in quality in employment, so much so that, while in 2019 only 26% of managers were women, this ratio has now risen to 37%.

Average disposable income

This was reflected in an upward rise in the average disposable income of women, which increased from €15,354 to €18,155, a growth of €2,801, or almost €700 more per year.

Combating poverty

Consequently, both the proportion of women at risk of poverty and those in a situation of severe material deprivation decreased by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.

Women in employment102,100126,800
Employment rate62%73%
Women with tertiary education qualifications94,900110,400
Women working as managers or in professional jobs42,80055,600
Proportion of female managers26%37%
Average disposable income of women€15,354€18,155
Women at risk of poverty18.1%17.8%
Women in severe material and social deprivation5.9%5.7%

Photo: Kampus Production

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