Equal Pay Day
20 de September de 2021
20 de September de 2021
The UN General Assembly proclaimed September 18 as International Equal Pay Day voicing deep concern over slow progress in women's economic empowerment, the undervaluing of work traditionally held by women and the difficulties in tackling pay inequality.
In the past years, there have been many big favourable changes on the road towards equality, but there’s still a long way to go. Currently, women are still getting paid less for doing the same work than their male counterparts. This happens all across the world. A surprising fact if we take into account that, at the same time, they are the ones with the best academic results and the ones holding the most university degrees, according to a study carried out by the Valencian Institute of Economic Research for the BBVA Foundation
Wage inequality has taken the form of a pandemic and is present in every region of the world. The gender pay gap is estimated to be 23% worldwide and it’s expected to take 275 years to completely eradicate it. Spain is no stranger to this phenomenon which, far from decreasing, has risen during the last three years. Women should be getting paid 28.6% more in order to equal men’s salaries and the anual difference between genders is 4.915 euros, according to the Syndicate of Technicians of the Ministry of Finance, Gestha.
Bethlem Boronat - Directress of the Master in Customer Experience & Innovation:
“Traditionally —because of historical and cultural matters— and in most professions, male work has always been considered as the most valuable. Men have always had access to higher positions and, in turn, to better salaries, while women’s work has always been considered less productive and of a lesser quality.”
We can’t wait 275 years to completely close the gender pay gap. That’s why, many organisations and lots of people are presenting initiatives so that we can pick up the pace:
Denisse C. Hernaez - President of EAE Women in Business Club:
“I think the problem must be addressed from a multidisciplinary approach that combines legislatives and institutional measures with a strong social re-education campaign. It’s not about taking benefits from some and giving them to others; it’s about creating an environment with equal possibilities where people’s capabilities are the only thing that matter.”
Magalí Riera - Academic Directress at EAE:
“One of the most simple —and yet one of the most complicated— issues at hand is to socially normalise that women and men can have the same salary or that women can even have a higher salary based on objective parameters. Somehow we still take for granted men’s salaries being usually higher which, as so many surveys have shown, brings some sort of relief to some family environments.”
Cristina Tomàs - EAE’s Vice Dean:
“We must educate on gender equality, positively affect the ratio of women in managerial positions and raise awareness about equal rights in marriage or maternity situations.”
The European Commission has focused on wage equality and, this year, many different propositions have been presented that will shorten the road ahead and among which there’s the new pay transparency approach. How can we fight inequality if we can’t see it in our closest environment? Brussels deems it of vital importance for workers to have the right to inform themselves on their wage level and the average wage levels of the organisation regarding gender and categories of workers that carry out similar tasks.
Mariam Silla - Career Services Manager:
“Companies must implement women promotion plans and keep an eye on the parity of the different departments. It would also help if companies would implement internal salary scales for every level, setting a common base salary for each position.”
Another initiative promoted by the European Commission consists of carrying out a retributive evaluation whenever there is an unjustified difference in retributions between genders of more than 5%. Also, women employees could claim full retribution of salaries and bonuses when this act of discrimination is proven.
Closing the pay gap is beneficial for everyone, regardless of our gender. According to the annual report on equality carried out by PwC, matching the salary of women to that of men would add 230.847 million euros to Spain’s GDP due to the increase in production and to the new jobs that would be created.
Lidia Bonvehí - Head of EAE’s Professional Careers, Distance Learning Modality:
“I think we’ve come a long way, but there’s still much to be done. And it’s here where big organisations play a crucial role in ending, once and for all, the pay gap and creating a more equal society by raising awareness in their workers.”
Article written in collaboration with: Bethlem Boronat, Denisse C. Hernaez, Magalí Riera, Cristina Tomàs, Mariam Silla y Lidia Bonvehí.