The state of the wage and gender gap
Fundación Alternativas has published the report "Gender and labor inequality: the gender pay gap as an aggregate indicator", which analyzes the evolution of the gender pay gap in Spain. According to the latest available data, men on average earned 27.3% more than women, a gap that could widen after the pandemic. The report offers proposals to reduce this difference and strengthen equality policies in all areas of public action.
The most relevant aspects of the report include the following:
- In Spain there is a gender pay gap that is likely to widen as a result of the Covid-19 crisis: According to the latest available data, men earn on average 27.3% more than women. This situation, which also occurs in most developed countries, has been decreasing in recent years, but experience indicates that this trend is reversed in times of crisis. This is due to the higher percentage of women in precarious jobs (temporary contracts, part-time work, less valued professions, etc.) and their greater representation in the sectors most affected by the crisis, such as commerce and hospitality.
- Our labor market is characterized by a great sectoral segregation by gender. The report highlights that "a total of nine sectors account for 73.6% of female employment". Women work in occupations and tasks considered "feminine", which historically have had lower value and lower wages. In addition, in many companies women are relegated from positions that require greater dedication and offer better salaries, since employers prefer not to promote women between 30 and 35 years of age to better occupations compared to men of the same age.
- The unequal distribution of time and work linked with domestic, child-rearing and care tasks and the existence of certain gender role stereotypes underlie this gender gap, as evidenced by some of the data in the report:
- Almost 92% of women carried out, on a daily basis, domestic tasks compared to 75% of men, with a dedication, on average, two hours a day more than males.
- In 2017, 44% of Europeans considered that the most important task for a woman was taking care of her home and family, while 43% said that a man's most relevant task was earning money.
- One third of working women with young children change their professional career in some way to care for them, twice as many as men. Similarly, the frequency of women who stopped working to care for children is much higher than that of men: seven times more.