Labour union report also finds it would take about 350 years for the pay gap to be neutralized
The General Workers Union of Catalonia (UGT) has released a report that studies the salary gap between men and women in Spain with results that indicate a trend of growing wealth inequality.
The report, titled ‘Wage gap: the expression of inequalities between women and men in the paid labour market’ states that the difference in average gross salary between men and women in Spain comes out to women in Catalonia earning an average 23.03% less than men.
This difference in wages amounts to 6,522 euros each year, or 543 euros per month.
Eva Garjado, the secretary of equality and vocational training for the union stated that numerical trends from past years suggest that change is currently slow. Taking into account that the pay gap was 23.4% in 2016, and reduced a mere 0.37% in 2017, it would take about 350 years for the difference to be neutralized.
“Major structural reforms need to be made at all levels because otherwise, we will not change the trend,” Garjado explained.
Difficulties with motherhood
The report explains various factors contributing to why this gap exists, like horizontal segregation, where women tend to work in lower-paid occupations and face difficulties in their careers if they choose to be mothers.
With an employment rate of 74.3% for women without children, that number drops to 68.2% after having children. The opposite is true for men, who see an increase in employment from 84.7% to 89.4%.
Garjado also cites an unexpected element as problematic — a new legal requirement that was recently enacted to address this very issue. Starting March 1st, a law passed by the Spanish government will require companies with a certain amount of employees to create equality plans and lead efforts for higher transparency when it comes to topics like salaries, bonuses, and promotion.
Garjado says, “talking about money is hard for companies because they have to start with concepts like privacy.” Garjado says that the bill needs to be accompanied by other measures to assure it is effective in its aims.