The gender pay gap is the average difference between men’s and women’s hourly earnings within the economy as a whole. Across Europe women earn on average around 18% less than men and in some countries the gender pay gap is widening.
The gender pay gap also has an important impact on lifetime earnings and on women's pensions. Earning lower pay means having a lower pension and it causes a higher risk of poverty for older women. The gender pay gap is the consequence of ongoing discrimination and inequalities in the labour market which, in practice, mainly affects women. The pay gap is linked to a number of legal, social and economic factors which go far beyond the single issue of equal pay for equal work.
To draw attention to the gender pay gap in Poland, which currently stands at around 10%, Business & Professional Women (BPW) Poland organised a number of activities around Equal Pay Day on 15 April.
These actions aimed to show how eliminating differences in pay can benefit not only employees but also the economy as a whole.
The date was chosen to highlight the extra 79 days that a woman is required to work in Poland in order to earn the same salary as a man during a full year of work. While a man would receive his salary on 31 December, because of the gender pay gap a woman would be required to work until 15 April the following year to earn the same.
The Day, which was supported by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, was very successful and will be further developed in years to come.
Which are the causes?
There is a number of complex and often interrelated factors that explain the existence of the gender pay gap.
• Some women are paid less than men for doing the same job. (This factor only explains a small part of the gender pay gap, due to the effectiveness of the EU and national legislation.)
The undervaluing of women’s work
• More frequently women earn less than men for doing jobs of equal value....