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.