Discrimination or …?

For many years there have been discussions about pay gap between men and women.  The gender pay gap (also known as gender wage gap) is defined as average difference between men’s and women’s hourly earnings.  That means that between women and men of the same age, with the same education and level of qualifications there is diferences in wage.  Some people say it is the woman’s choice but others say that it is discrimination.

In 2011 the average gender pay gap in European Union (EU) was 16,4 %. In EU there are considerable differences between the Member States in this regard, with the pay gap ranging from less than 10% in Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Belgium to more than 20% in Slovakia, Cyprus, Germany, and Greece and more than 25% in Estonia, Czech Republic and Austria.

As the main reasons for gender pay gap is that women and men work in different jobs. Women often work in sectors where their work is lower valued and lower paid than those dominated by men. More than 40% of women work in health, education and public administration. Moreover, women are frequently employed as administrative assistants, shop assistants or low skilled or unskilled workers – these occupations accounting for almost half of the female workforce. Many women work in low-paying occupations, for example, cleaning and care work.

Women are under-represented in managerial and senior positions. For example, women represent only 32% of managers in companies within the EU, 10% of members of management boards of the largest companies, and 29% of scientists and engineers across Europe.

As well as women’s choose to take parental leave. As a result, women have more frequent career breaks and often do not go back to a full time job.

Although there are situations when lower wage are women’s choice, but there are still situations when women have as good or better qualifications than men, but her skills are not as valued as men’s.  Therefore, all the time there will be actual question in which situation lower wage is women’s choice and in which it is already discrimination.




6 thoughts on “Discrimination or …?

  1. In my opinion, i think that the differences between pay gap men and women are lower. Nowdays under the law governing labour relations must be “men and women as equal opportunities and treatment in employment, promotion, training, education, retraining, wages and other income from employment, absence from work, working conditions, working time and the termination of his employment” . An employer also may not be published vacancy only for men or for women only, unless sex is a necessary condition for performing the work (for example, physical work in the warehouse).Both sexes have the features and benefits to help every individual can provide a better service, salary or promotion, as it currently is – of course if they can exploit.

    For example in Slovenia the difference in the average, the lowest among EU Member States, amounting to 4.4 percent.

  2. I think that the pay gab between men and women is a serious problem that isn´t fully recognized yet. Many people are aware that there is a pay gab between men and women, but I think the pay gab is bigger than we actually think.

    I agree with Zemesara that an employer may never publish a vacansy for only men or for only women. But this unfortunattly doesn´t mean that that employer will only look at the competences and skills of the people who have applied for the job. I think that gender will certainly pay a big rol in the choice of hiring someone.

    In the Netherlands employers are more hesitant to hire women because of their maternity leaf, parental leaf and the change that women want to work parttime after they had their child.

    Maybe if more bigger companies and governments hire more women then it will set the tone for the rest of the business industry. Hopefully they can set an example. If a women gets less payd in the same job as a man that is in my eyes definatly discrimination.

  3. I think that it has nothing to do with discrimination. But just how you are as a person. I read that man ask for a higher salary if they aren’t satisfied and that woman don’t.

    Why women earn less than men on average basis?
    – Because having children reduces the chance of a career and the pay gap increases.
    – Because they interrupt their careers due to child care.
    – Because women work in sectors and occupations where the wage is lower and where some combination of work and care are more feasible.

    It shouldn’t be that a woman in the same function as a man gets paid less for the same employer. It is even prohibited by law in the Netherlands. And yet it happens, in the Netherlands so I guess it will happen everywhere. The Wage survey in 2006 found that women starting their first job fall behind. Average of four percent. They also get fewer extras such as a cell phone, surcharges or a lease car. But I think if they confront their boss with the facts, they will get it!

  4. In Germany a man earns in average 23% more money than a woman. But there are some factors which influence this salary differential and should be considered.
    First of all women often choose a job which is low paid. They mainly work in the social service sector. In this area the salary is really low, but it does not depend on the sex. In addition, part time employment increases the salary gap. People, who work less, develop less knowledge and experiences. Thereby they have worse career opportunities. And this fact influences of course the salary.
    Finally, women also have other priorities during salary negotiations. They focus on different social services for example flexible working hours. If they get these social services they are often satisfied. However, men focus on a higher salary. I think if people demand more and are self-opinionated they get in average more.
    By considering these factors, the gap between women and men decreases. But there will be almost a salary difference. And in this case it is in my opinion discrimination. Of course we have to consider the above mentioned factors but it only reduces the gap and do not create equality. Today many companies care about this topic and try to provide equality, but I think at the moment it is not enough.

  5. In France, the pay gap between men and women is more striking in higher skilled jobs. Indeed, despite of the same job, a male executive will earn 30,7% more than the female executive. I am wondering how it can be possible in a “modern” country like France to see such a discrimination, a country which always “preaches” equality. Moreover I do not think that women can really choose their jobs, because we all know how hard it is to get admitted in high skilled positions for a woman even in western countries. It will be enough to see the number of women in the Parliaments where the majority is composed of males. I do not think that the mentality has changed so much among the peoples because it is easy to see the consequences of a “traditionnal” way of thinking even nowadays.

  6. That’s an important nowadays debate, discrimination is a fact, but it is not the cause of the whole gender gap.


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