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21 May, 2024
 
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Is it the beginning of the end of the gender pay gap?

This wage gap affects women's economic well-being and has a significant emotional impact. Discrimination is heartbreaking and demoralizing.

Opinion

Opinion

by Frances Fitzgerald, EPP coordinator of the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, Louka Fourla and Eleni Stavrou

Imagine you are Anna, a dedicated and hardworking engineer with a passion for your work. You've spent years honing your skills and made a significant contribution to your company's success. But one day you find out that your male colleagues who have the same qualifications and experience as you, earn much more. How would you feel?

This is not just a hypothetical scenario. It is the reality for many women like Anna across the European Union. In 2021, the gender pay gap in the EU was 12.7%, meaning that women earned, on average, 12.7% less than men in the same roles. This means a loss of thousands of euros for women. For example, if you have a salary of €50,000, this pay difference deprives you of €6,350.

This wage gap affects women's economic well-being and has a significant emotional impact. Discrimination is heartbreaking and demoralizing.

Fortunately, the EU has tackled this urgent issue, with recently passed legislation aimed at reducing the pay gap through a combination of measures. The EPP Group welcomes this legislation. But while we are fully committed to reducing and ultimately closing the pay gap, we also recognize the financial implications for businesses. That's why we've made sure the final set of measures includes a so-called "tiered model" to help smaller companies gradually adopt pay transparency measures, one step at a time. Companies with fewer employees will have a longer timeframe to comply with the Directive's requirements, allowing them to implement the necessary changes without being disproportionately burdened by administrative or financial pressures.

But what about Anna? How will the new legislation affect her and countless others who face the same unfair treatment? By introducing pay transparency, job seekers like Anna will have clear salary information. It will become mandatory for the company to state the proposed salary when the job is advertised, making it easier to prevent pay discrepancies in the first place. In addition, the European Institute for Gender Equality will help develop guidelines for assessing equal work and work of equal value, ensuring that all workers are paid fairly and with up-to-date information to be able to see guidelines on their own.

For Anna and millions of other women in the workplace, these measures offer hope for a future free of the emotional burden and financial discrimination of pay. That future may be delayed until it reaches this level and the fight is not over, but we can finally tell Anna that the foundation for positive change has been laid.

 

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Cyprus  |  gender  |  employment  |  transparency

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