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  • By The Financial District

EU Needs 60 Years To Achieve Pay Parity Between Males And Females

Gender pay gap is the difference in average gross earnings between men and women. It is often based on salaries paid directly to employees before income tax and social security contributions.

Photo Insert: Less than 8% of top companies worldwide have women CEOs.

Even though the European Union (EU) was founded on the principle of gender equality, women in the bloc still earn on average 13% less than men. The answer lies in the unpaid care work done by women, Sushmitha Ramakrishnan wrote for Deutsche Welle (DW).

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 by the World Economic Forum (WEF), it will take 132 years to reach full parity and close the gender gap. While Europe has the second-highest level of gender parity globally, the report estimates that the region still has at least 60 years to reach parity.

Studies have shown over the years more men tend to be employed in higher-paying jobs like construction and mining which require substantial risk, or in the finance and insurance sectors.

To begin with, fewer women work compared with men. Women work more hours per week than men but they spend more hours doing unpaid work — a fact that might also be affected by their career choices. Women, who are disproportionately assigned to be the primary caregivers for children, tend to pick jobs that offer flexible or shorter working hours.

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This has led to an unequal burden for women to take career breaks to facilitate maternity and child care. Men spend just of third of the time women do on unpaid work

A disparity in pay translates to a range of problems for women. Direct consequences include poorer access to health care, welfare, education and financial security, especially in old age. Other effects compound the problem: unequal career paths, gaps in financial literacy and a significant gap in access to wealth-building resources and wealth accumulated over a lifetime.

Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

This also means that fewer women rise to leadership roles. Less than 8% of top companies worldwide have women CEOs. Further, more women are employed in low-wage jobs doing domestic, temporary or part-time work, making them ineligible for many state or company benefits.

For example, during the pandemic, many women in Europe could not access government-funded income support, as protection schemes were not often available in the sectors of their work.

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