‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ is a new European Gender Strategy, says MEPsFebruary 4, 2020
Gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the European Union (EU). The EU is dedicated not only to defending this right but also promoting gender equality both within the Member States and across the world. At the same time, the abundance of data and statistics show that women, who make up half of our population, are under-represented in decision-making positions in politics and in business and still earn on average 16 % less than men across the European Union.
At the beginning of 2020, MEPs have made the new big step towards reducing the gender pay gap and have urged the Commission to present a new Gender Equality Strategy. In the resolution adopted on the 30th of January by 493 votes in favour, 82 against and 79 abstentions, the Parliament welcomed the commitment of the new Commission President to make ‘equal pay for equal work’ the founding principle of the new European Gender Strategy to be presented in March.
MEPs want this strategy to include binding provisions on pay transparency and on the gender pay gap, applying to both the public and private sectors, as well as strong enforcement policies, clear targets and monitoring to better progress measurement. They also call for the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan to be revised by the end of 2020, which should set clear targets for the member states to reduce the gap over the next five years.
Parliament urges member states to tackle the root causes of the gender pay gap. The highlighted areas that should be invested are:
- Early childhood education and care services
- Family-friendly working arrangements to ensure women’s equal participation in the labour market.
- Adequate provisions for elder women such as credits for care periods, adequate minimum pensions and survivor’s benefits.
MEPs also call for a developing environment for lifelong learning and vocational training for women which should ensure they have access to high-quality employment and opportunities.
In particular, MEPs call for greater promotion of entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and digital education for girls from an early age, in order to combat existing educational stereotypes and ensure women enter developing and well-paid sectors.
The gender pay gap will not evaporate on its own. It is the responsibility of countries, companies, employees, and individuals to change societal beliefs and norms toward gendered pay.
We have a complete guide here on how organizations can work to better tackle pay gaps within their own organization (complete with a ‘how-to’ on getting started).
In Heartpace, our robust software includes a Pay module that makes identifying, reporting, and fixing pay discrepancies easier than ever before. Learn more here.