Magazine article European Social Policy

Gender Pay Gap : Spidla: Women Could Play Key Role in Tackling Crisis

Magazine article European Social Policy

Gender Pay Gap : Spidla: Women Could Play Key Role in Tackling Crisis

Article excerpt

Alongside investments in innovation and creativity and the intra-EU movement of workers, the European Commission believes that women should substantially increase their role in tackling the current crisis.

While the Union's central banks are all led by men today, a study conducted among small and medium-sized enterprises in Finland has shown that companies run by women are up to 10% more efficient than those headed by men. Drawing on such findings, Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimir Spidla said he saw huge potentials for the business sector "especially" in these troubled days.a"It is time to make full use of the potential of women," he said, on 3 March, at the launch of an EU-wide campaign against the gender pay gap - which is still 17.4% on average. "Only by reaping the potential of all our talents can we face up to the crisis," added Spidla.

Hard as it may be to convince companies these days to pay more and not less to women, "this is the best time to do that," said Spidla. "We have to be efficient and we all have to be active on the labour market."

The reasons behind the gender pay gap are manifold and often unrelated.a"Typical women professions (in health, education and public administration) are less paid, they are often not part of the decision making bodies and women interrupt their careers more often, which causes in the end lower wages and as well lower pensions." Women in general find it harder to achieve a better position, but the reasons for this may vary from cultural stereotypes' to inefficient organisations', Spidla says. …

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