Weekly news magazine Dagens Samhälle published a list of the monthly salaries of municipal managers and board chairpeople for January 2016. Karin Wanngård, the mayor of Stockholm, was first on the list with just over SEK 125,000 per month. Pehr Granfalk her counterpart in Solna was second on the list with close to 97,000 per month.
Staffan Isling, chairman of Kommundirektörernas förening, an association of managers at the municipal level, said the timing of the hires could account for the salary difference.
"When municipal managers are being recruited there's been in recent times more women than men. That the women got those jobs later explains that the salaries are higher," said Isling.
Annika Elias, who chairs the association of Swedish managers, Ledarna, said the news was surprising.
"That's very interesting! That's not the case in the private sector. I think it shows that female managers have become better at negotiating their wages. We know that they're often better educated than men," said Elias.
Isling told Radio Sweden that the higher wages do not reflect the proportion of women to men in those positions. About one-third of the municipal managers, or "chief executives," are women, and when he started working 20 years ago, said Isling, there were only 10 percent.
Isling said that women are making more money in the top municipal spots because of two reasons. First, because of an effort to promote women in the public sector so that new appointments earn higher salaries because of a natural wage inflation. Second, it was more likely that women in larger cities, where salaries are higher, were promoted to those positions.