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DP Veteran
Dec 13, 2015
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As in the US it is excessive in Europe. We've all known that a long, long time.

But "time" has a way of coming around. And in Europe it has finally done so on the issue of flagrant male/female wage differences.

See here: The European Union’s Fight Against the Gender Pay Gap

March 29, 2021
Lucca Victorelli

In the EU, women are less present in the labor market as opposed to men. Based on 2019 data for the EU27, the employment gap between men and women stood at 11.7%. While 79% of men in the EU were employed, only 67.3% of women were employed. Women also earned 14.1% less per hour than men. Overall, this number increases to 36.7% when taking into account yearly earnings for the average man and woman (European Commission (a)). Within the member states, we see a stark contrast in the gender pay gap. This statistic ranges from less than 5% pay difference in Luxembourg, Romania, and Italy to over 20% difference in Estonia and Latvia (Eurostat 2021).

The European Commission highlights multiple key factors which lead to the resulting inequality in women’s pay (per hour on average) as compared to men within the EU. These factors fall under the categories of sectoral segregation, work-life balance, work position, and discrimination (European Commission (a)). The first of these denotes the lack of women represented in higher-paying jobs, such as the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) sector. The second, that of the ‘work-life balance’, refers to the tendency of women to spend less hours than men in paid work, but more hours than men in unpaid work. The European Union’s aims to address this issue by promoting a balance in parental leave. The third factor is work position hierarchy, in which women are consistently absent in top positions within companies, representing less than 10% of CEOs in top companies. Furthermore, female managers earned 23% less than their male counterparts in similar positions (European Commission (a)). Finally, despite including the principle of anti-discrimination on grounds of sex in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (1957), discrimination still plays a role in promoting inequality (European Commission (b)).

And the above may be the beginning in correcting the male/female wage-unfairness in the EU - but neither is "victory" necessarily in sight ....

PS: Europe as you may well know is "an old place". But in certain matters it is far more advanced than even the US. For instance, in nearly-free National Healthcare and very low-cost Post-secondary Education.
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