Our Position

Resolution: Gender equality stuck on hold

Adopted by Eurocadres General Assembly 15 October 2020

It is the Directive proposal on gender balance on boards and the promise for a binding initiative for pay transparency which are both put on hold by the EU institutions. The Council is blocking now for 7 years the directive proposal on gender balance on boards and the Commission is repeatedly postponing a proposal of a binding initiative to close the gender pay gap despite the announcement of the President of the EU Commission to table binding pay transparency measures.

This resolution is calling the EU institutions to not further hold-up important initiatives for gender equality in the EU. The current COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout are having a regressive effect on gender equality. This must be stopped! We need progress now more than ever!

One of the most important milestones of equality between men and women is full economic independence of women. But women in the EU earn on average almost 15% less per hour than men. The lack of pay transparency is a key reason that makes pay discrimination possible. And what is more, more women than men finish higher education in the EU but carrying out jobs below their classifications and only one third is holding managerial positions.

Eurostat data shows the EU gender pay gap has closed by 1% over the last eight years, which means women will be waiting for another 84 years to achieve equal pay if current trends continue. Thus, the EU’s gender pay gap will not be eliminated until the next century at the current pace of change.

Without binding pay equality measures to change the current trends, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) found[1]:

  • The gender pay gap would continue to grow in nine member states.
  • Women in German and Czechia will wait until 2121 for equal pay while the gap is closing so slowly in France (0.1% since 2010) that it is on course to take over 1000 years to achieve equality.
  • Women in a further nine countries will have to wait until the second half of this century.
  • The pay gap would end this decade without further action in just three countries (in at least one case on unacceptably low wages for women and men).

We urge the Commission do not further delay a proposal for binding measures for pay transparency. Because it is a scandal that in the 21st century we still must fight ongoing and voluntary pay injustice of women.

[1] EU gender pay gap won’t end until 2104 without action; ETUC press release from 5 October 2020