How to Decrease Gender Pay Gap in 7 Steps
European Gender Gap Ranking
In the 21st century, the majority of people find it very obvious that men and women should be paid equal amounts for performing the same job, right? Unfortunately, that is still not the case. The gender pay gap is very significant issue in the European Union. According to European Commission, it is estimated that women in EU earn, on average, around 16.4% less than men. This number can be shocking to many that in this day in age, how is it possible that women in European Union are still paid less than men?
Market Inspector created an interactive map where you can see and compare the position of every European Union country in the Global Gender Pay Gap list created by World Economic Forum. Additionally, categories as Job Gap, Low-Skilled Jobs, High-Skilled Jobs, and Pension, are included in the map in order to give a more accurate representation of gender equality condition in every country.
The interactive map below represents the European Gender Gap Ranking
|Ranking 1 - 3||Ranking 4 - 10||Ranking 11 - 17||Ranking 18 - 24||Ranking 25 - 31|
The Job Gap shows how many men and women are currently employed. The Low-Skilled Jobs and High-Skilled Jobs categories indicate the percentage of men and women occupying jobs that require high or low skills. Finally, the Pension category indicates what percentage of men and women receive pension.
The top European countries in the Global Gender Pay Gap with the smallest gender pay gap are Nordic countries, with Iceland occupying the number one spot on the list, Finland taking the second spot, and Norway coming in third. These countries provide not only the most equal working conditions for men and women when it comes to salary, but they are also pioneers of providing free childcare and maternity/paternity leave for both men and women.
And what about the countries that still have a ways to go when it comes to fair working condition for both men and women? Hungary, Malta, and Greece occupy the last spots in the ranking.
Admitting that the gender pay gap is, unfortunately, still a huge problem we have to deal with in European Union, is already a good step forward, however, it does not solve the problem. Market Inspector prepared an infographic with 7 steps that can decrease the gender pay gap in the European Union.
Substantial evidence on the subject argues that pay equity is not only the right thing to do, but it is the smart thing to do for your business. Fortunately, business leaders and leading companies and organisations all over the world recognise the opportunity of helping to close the gender pay gap.
How to Reduce the Gender Pay Gap
Market Inspector has prepared a study in the form of an infographic that represents seven steps that can help decrease of the gender pay gap.
- Governmental Interference
Although, the Equal Pay Act has existed since 1963, there is still a problem with legislating the law, and it puts the burden on female employees to bring lawsuits proving that they have been discriminating against. Government is the one institution that can help solve this problem and close the gender pay gap. Different measures for closing the gap have been discussed. One such measure involves requiring companies to release data on male and female pay ratios to the public. Thus, companies will feel the pressure to create fairer working conditions.
- Enforce Paternity Leave
Making business friendlier towards women is another step that can help the process of closing the gender pay gap. Allowing fathers to take more paternity and shared parental leave ensures workplace flexibility and opportunity for women to return back to work. Although in some countries the idea of paternity leave has yet to take hold, in countries like Sweden (since 1974) and UK (since 2015), the idea has already been introduced and encouraged.
- Subsidise Childcare
Childcare can be quite challenging for many families, assuming that an average part-time nursery place can cost up to £6,000 a year. For families with low wages, after nursery and travel costs it can barely worth working. State childcare should start as soon as paid parental leave is over, it is a necessity in order for women to keep their jobs.
At least 600,000 stay-at-home mothers would prefer to work if they could afford the childcare cost. A free part-time nursery place is a measure that could help counterbalance the high cost of childcare.The strategy is implemented in some European countries – France and Denmark, and it shows positive results already.
- Mentoring Programmes
Mentoring programs help women integrate better when the programs are made specifically for women. For example, mentoring women on how to negotiate their salary and working conditions and how to reconcile maternity and work, is a good start. Moreover, some women might feel more comfortable being mentored by another woman. The majority of mentors are senior male employees and, according to studies, half of female junior employees reported feeling nervous about the one-on-one contact with senior mentors. Therefore, companies should provide female as well as male mentors.
- Salary Transparency
Transparency and data are key to closing the gender pay gap. Being aware of their data, employers are equipped with the required knowledge to actually change the current situation and work in the direction of decreasing the gender pay gap. Furthermore, knowing salary ranges for different jobs, allows not only women, but all employees for that matter, to receive the needed information in order to be paid fairly and equally.
- Eliminate Negotiations
Studies show that when women negotiate for higher salaries, people may react more negatively compared to a man asking for a higher salary. Implementing a no negotiation policy in regards to salaries may contribute to decreasing the wage differences between men and women. However, a no negotiation policy does not mean that women shouldn’t negotiate for the more challenging and satisfying roles in order to boost their chances for success. Pay transparency does not equate to power for women, but it does empower women to know what is at stake, ensuring an equal playing field.
- Promoting Women Entrepreneurship
Policies that reduce barriers which prevent women from starting and developing their own businesses would result in encouraging more women to become entrepreneurs. This would help narrow multiple gender gaps such as female startup rates, productivity, and profitability of businesses.
Allowing women entrepreneurs into special training and skill development programs could improve women`s market access and encourage their business to grow and be more stable.
In fact, the Women`s Entrepreneurship Development (WED) program has been successful in improving profits for women-led businesses.