Even in fields dominated by women, such as medical assistants, men can get paid 40 percent more. The lower pay, along with more part-time work for women, mean they earn about 50 percent less over their working lives than male peers, according to a 2017 study by the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin. Such discrepancies, along with shortfalls in childcare and social pressures, contribute to fewer women in the workforce — 78 percent of working-age German men were employed in 2016, compared with 70 percent of women, according to the country’s statistics office