The topic about gender pay gap has always been intriguing and has raised many discussions in the business sector. A recent study (2021) has shown that in Bulgaria, women receive salaries which are 14% lower than the salaries of men for the same position. Which means that full gender equality is not yet achieved, despite the huge progress in Bulgaria.
Why is there gender pay gap?
Some of the reasons are that women work more hours of unpaid work, caring for family members and doing housework. There is a difference in unpaid working hours in all EU countries, ranging from 6-8 hours per week in the Nordic countries to over 15 hours per week in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Cyprus, etc.
This leaves less time for paid work: only 8% of men in the EU work part-time, compared to almost 30% of women. When paid and unpaid hours of work are taken into account, it turns out that women work more.
Moreover, breaks in professional development are much more common among women than in men, and some of their career decisions are influenced by taking on family responsibilities.
All this does not mean that there is no real discrimination in the workplace – for example, when women receive less than their male counterparts for the same work or when they are demoted when they return from maternity leave. Unfortunately, it is very unfair to think that a woman is not able to take a managerial position or she will do the job worse than a man, which is linked to stereotypes.
What can be done to reduce the pay gap and finally prevent the inequality?
It is high time to leave all those stereotypes…
Equal pay is not only a matter of fairness and an incentive to work harder, but would also boost the economy, as women would have more money to spend. It would also lead to the collection of more taxes from the treasury and would ease some of the burden on social assistance systems.
As an employer, there are few steps to consider in order to reduce the gender pay gap in your organization. You can not only diversify your interviewees, but also you can start investing in female leadership potential, and just offer equal incentives and wages to everyone at the same position, regardless of their gender. Another way to overcome the pay gap is to offer childcare and early childhood education. And there are even cheaper options- such as encouraging open and transparent discussions about their wages/salaries/bonuses.
It is not that difficult to change that, it just takes time, awareness, and small steps towards improvement in order to live in a better world.