- Discrimination in the workplace
Women and men may not be paid the same wages even though they do the same work due to illegal discrimination.
- Lack of enforcement by State agencies
State agencies do not enforce the existing legislation or take legal action against offenders.
- Balancing work and family responsibilities
Women work shorter hours and often part-time to combine family responsibilities and paid work. Career progression can be interrupted by maternity leave.
- ‘Glass ceiling’/fewer women in senior and leadership positions
Women are under-represented in most senior positions, in politics and in certain sectors within the economy such as on boards of management.
- Different jobs, different sectors
Women and men carry out different jobs and often work in different sectors. In health and social work women make up 80% of workers.
How can governments close gender pay gap
- Awareness – raising Campaign
Governments could put in place measures to raise awareness on gender equality and company good practice. A widespread advertising campaign during ‘European Equal Pay Day’ might raise awareness of the gender pay gap and initiate change.
- Labour Inspections / Name and shame the offenders
Labour inspectors could be trained to carry out inspections on equal pay violations and publish names of offenders.
- Audits by companies
Gender equality plans and audits enable companies to measure their progress in implementing gender equality and equal pay.
- Make pay systems transparent
Transparent pay systems are very important in implementing equal pay e.g. software to help companies analyse pay and staffing structures and verify if equal pay exists.
- Gender Equality Studies
A government could implement studies into the issue and take action to implement strategies to close the gender pay gap.