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What is it and why does a remuneration audit with a gender perspective arise?

What is it and why does a remuneration audit with a gender perspective arise?

On February 22, Equal Pay Day is celebrated in Spain to raise awareness among citizens about the differences that continue to exist in remuneration between men and women.

According to data from the International Labor Organization, women worldwide earn 20% more than men. In the European Union, according to Eurostat data, the wage difference is equivalent to 47 days of free work for women.

These differences are what is known as the wage gap. One of the most used indicators to measure the level of achievement of gender equality between women and men. The United Nations (UN) defines the wage gap as the percentage resulting from dividing two quantities: the difference between the wages of men and women, divided by the wages of men. If the figure is positive, it means that women are earning less.

According to the latest data available from the National Statistics Institute (INE), in 2020 women earned 5,175 euros less than men, which represents a gap of 18,72%, and in the case of some autonomous communities, This difference widens, as is the case of Andalusia, where the difference is 24,70%.

 At the community level, Spain is in the intermediate positions. In the latest Eurostat, with data from 2019, Spain ranks 11th among the 27 countries of the European Union in relation to the wage gap.

The wage gap has repercussions on the purchasing power of female workers, as well as on benefits, especially in relation to contributory pensions. In 2022, according to Social Security, almost 63% of pensioners do not reach the equivalent of Minimum salary, a percentage that is reduced to 42.4% among men, but how is the salary gap explained? Studies and statistical sources coincide in an interconnected network of factors. For example, according to the INE “The wage gap is conditioned by a series of social, legal and economic factors, and constitutes a concept that goes beyond the premise of equal pay for equal work.”.

The most easily identifiable factors have to do with the differences that still persist in the participation of men and women in the labor market. On the one hand, women's active population rates are lower than those of men, but they also work in sectors, professions and positions with lower remuneration and worse working conditions, which is known as horizontal segregation or sticky floor. Many of these sectors, professions and positions are associated with tasks traditionally considered feminine, such as the care and cleaning sector. In 2021, according to the INE, women employed in highly and medium-skilled occupations in Spain were 47.5%, in Andalusia the figure fell to 39.3%. 

The glass ceiling or vertical segregation is added to horizontal segregation. In 2022 the UN stated that Women are 140 years away from achieving real participation in positions of power and decision-making. The INE set the number of women in senior management positions in Spanish SMEs at 36% by 2022. In the case of IBEX 35 companies, the figure drops to 21%.

This vertical segregation can be the result of direct discrimination, but also of unconscious discrimination that goes unnoticed by personnel selection professionals, managers and, in many cases, the workers themselves, deriving from roles and stereotypes that continue to associate these positions with skills. and masculine capabilities.

Eurostat considers that the wage gap also reflects the unbalanced distribution of care tasks between women and men, a situation that makes it difficult both to reconcile the work and professional life of female workers and their professional development, being directly connected to the ceiling. of glass and the lack of permanence and stability in the labor market. Again according to the INE, the main reason for women to request a leave of absence and the second reason for taking part-time work is attention to care needs.

On the other hand, differences in relation to education and training have less and less impact and are expected to reduce over the years, since the balanced presence of women and men in different university studies is increasing.  

Along with the above, it must be taken into account that salary differences are conditioned in many cases by salary supplements, hence it is an element of remuneration to which special attention must be paid. According to the Andalusian Women's Institute (IAM), these salary supplements are usually set based on characteristics of positions traditionally held by men.

Another example that directly impacts remuneration is overtime. The INE established in 2022 in Spain that 497,500 men have worked overtime in 2022 and 283,600 were paid for it. In their case, 325,600 women worked overtime and only 152,700 were compensated financially. In addition to this difference, women, due to their care responsibilities, are less available to work overtime.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), women are concentrated to a greater extent in companies with lower salaries due to preferences, since these types of companies usually offer more part-time job offers, as well as internships. discriminatory hiring practices.

For its part, the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), made up of the ILO, UN Women and the OECD, points out the need to implement transparent salary policies in companies as a tool to reduce the salary gap between women and men.

From the state regulatory framework, the latest updates on Employment Equality have paid special attention to Equal Pay and pay transparency, being aware of the multi-causal nature of the wage gap.

It is Royal Decree Law 902/2020, of October 13, on equal pay between women and men, which states that, in order to guarantee the effective application of the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination in remuneration matters between women and men, men, companies and collective agreements must integrate and apply the principle of pay transparency.

In the case of companies, they are obliged to include in their Equality Plans, whether voluntary or not, a remuneration audit with a gender perspective.

This remuneration audit must first study the assessment of jobs to identify whether the principle of equal opportunities between women and men is being breached in the job description and this may be transferring to remuneration.

Along with the above, the company's remuneration record will be analyzed from a gender perspective to observe if there are gender inequalities in remuneration that are not duly justified.

In addition, personnel promotion, hiring and selection systems, as well as training and measures to reconcile the rights of personal, family and work life, will be examined to assess whether they are operating free of direct or indirect discrimination.

With all this information, the company's needs must be defined and the necessary corrections and measures introduced to intervene and prevent, establishing at the same time the transparency, monitoring and evaluation systems of the remuneration record carried out.

The remuneration audit is thus the fundamental tool that companies have to promote equal pay in their companies and contribute to reducing the global gender gap. Mainjobs, through its consulting team specialized in Equality Plans, contributes to this objective.

Communication Mainjobs