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EIGE publication: Tackling the gender pay gap: not without a better work-life balance

In one of their recent publications, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) provides an overview of the gender pay gap across the EU, with insights on how it relates to the gender gap in overall earnings and, consequently, the gender pension gap.

The statistics speak for themselves. Across the EU, women earn on average, 16% less than men. This is a result of many already identified factors: women are concentrated in lower level and lower paid jobs, work more hours (in both paid and unpaid work), take longer career breaks, and are more likely to choose part-time work to reconcile work and care responsibilities. The price to pay is high: women’s pensions end up being 37 % less than men’s.

To tackle this unfair situation, we must dismantle gender stereotypes that underpin the gender pay gap. A key issue is the uneven concentration of women and men in the labour market, especially in sectors that are facing a skills shortage. In fields dominated by men, such as ICT, employees are often expected to work long hours, be constantly available and feel pressure to prioritise work over their families.

The research note furthermore explores the links between the gender pay gap and emerging policies aimed at improving work-life balance, with a focus on the role of measures put forward by the Commission’s “New Start” initiative on work-life balance for working parents and carers, such as parental and carer’s leave and flexible working arrangements.

You can find the publication here.