Gender pay gap: still far from equality
published on 22.02.21
Women in Spain take 53 days to get paid the same as men. For this reason, Equal Pay Day is celebrated in the country on 22 February. This date marks the additional days that women work to get paid the same as men after the year is over. The celebration aims to raise awareness of the existence of this inequality and the need to combat it. At the European level, Equal Pay Day is celebrated on 10 November to mark the symbolic time of the year when women are no longer paid as much as men in the European Union.
The social advances we have seen in the public debate and institutions could lead us to think that the salary gap is narrowing every year, but this is not the case. The wage gap between men and women is increasing, according to the INE, the annual gap is 21.4%. Moreover, this year the coronavirus crisis has affected women’s working lives more, according to Eurofund, the gap increased by 0.4% between April and September 2020.
Why are women paid less money?
- They work less paid hours: work-life balance
The reconciliation of work and family life partly explains these differences. Women spend more hours on unpaid work than men and therefore spend fewer hours on paid work. Consequently, many more women work part-time. This dedication to family life affects their career choices more than in the case of men. This highlights the need to promote an equal sharing of parental leave.
The fact that they work fewer hours does not explain the entire wage gap as is sometimes argued, since, if we analyze what men and women earn per hour, INE data show that men earn 11.3% more per hour worked. Even so, the data per hour worked do not explain all the inequalities either, since the big differences are not so much in the basic salary as in the supplements and extraordinary salary components. Besides, women are also more likely to take time off work to care for family members in case of need.
- Sector segregation
Women are over-represented in the lowest-paid sectors, especially those related to care and education. On the other hand, men are over-represented in the highest-paid sectors, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This sectoral segregation explains 30% of the pay gap.
- Glass ceiling
In the European Union, less than 10% of CEOs in the largest companies are women. Moreover, the profession with the biggest pay gap between men and women is that of manager, with women earning 23% less.
- Direct discrimination
In addition to all these differences, they sometimes suffer even more direct discrimination. In some cases, women earn less for jobs of equal value than their male colleagues. Besides, the big differences are due to salary complements and other extras, which have more weight in the case of men.
Eva Vila-Massanas, in the presentation of the TBS Equal.ID program spoke about the Pay Gap, “the difference in salary between men and women who have the same skills, the same level of education and the same responsibility in the company, a Pay Gap that in many companies reaches 30%”.
TBS offers a voluntary program to fight the wage gap in the business world. The project offers training activities for students as well as mentoring for female students. Equal.ID connects TBS students in their final year with a female manager, who guides them with her experience and helps them to deal with all kinds of situations.