The EU’s top equality official calls it “absurd” that women are still getting paid an average 15 percent less than men for the same work. Entire sectors where most of the workers are women tend to be underpaid, such as childcare, supermarket cashier and nursing when compared with car mechanics, warehousing and the police. Age is a factor too. The gap is smallest in the under-thirty range: seven percent. The pay gap is most pronounced in the 50-60 year range, where the average disparity is 30 percent!
The labour market is also a place of negative discrimination against women reconciling work with private life. They do more part-time and unpaid work. They take career breaks more often, and when they return to the workplace they are professionally debited.
EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimír Pidla deplores this: “It’s unacceptable that a woman’s absence for maternity leave will have an effect on her pay when she goes back to work, even after 25 years more experience, and even on her pension.”
The main fields of action identified by the Commission include promoting gender pay equity and social responsibility among employers, and supporting exchange of good practices across the EU.