Catholic magazine tackles gender pay gap

Even in Lithuania, with a low 14% gender pay gap, it is not usual for companies to believe that it is okay to pay women less because they are not under pressure to provide for their families.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Lithuania
Catholic magazine tackles gender pay gap - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Placing a long analytical report on gender pay gap in a Catholic magazine, which focuses on mental health and social inclusion, opens the topic up to a typically non-feminist audience. The article dissects various factors contributing to gender pay gap, including limited flexibility in industries and stereotypical expectations. It debunks the myth that in a market economy everyone is paid according to their skills. Instead, many employers, according to the article, believe that women are not under pressure to provide for their families, so they can be paid less.

Furthermore, the article questions the official figures somewhat, saying that the real figures may be higher when bonuses and other forms of payment are factored in.

Countries where the gender pay gap is low, such as Italy and Greece, tend to have low employment rates for women.

Less than a half of working-age women are employed, as opposed to over two-thirds in the Baltic States, which means that while many Mediterranean mothers do not return to work and compete with men, Baltic women bear the brunt of the double burden and lose out financially. As Orinta Leiputė, a local politician, says in the article, working mothers particularly shun high-responsibility jobs because of the work-life balance related tensions.

Details from the story:

  • The EU equal pay day fell on the November 3 this year. This is when European women would have to stop working to receive the same annual pay per hour as men.
  • In Lithuania, the gender pay gap is lower than in the other Baltic countries. It is 14% in the public sector and 18% in the private sector. In finance and insurance, it is still 39%. If bonuses and compensations for unused annual leave were taken into account, the gap would most likely be larger.
  • Women over the age of 65 are twice as likely to face poverty in Lithuania because of their lower social security contributions.
  • The article presents various factors contributing to gender pay gap: gender stereotypes, discrimination, estimated to explain 40% of the pay gap, career breaks during parental leave, and different flexibility standards across industries.
  • Two local experts and a social-democratic politician shared their views in the article, and there is a list of international good practices in reducing gender-pay gap, including an example from a Lithuanian company.
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