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The gender wage gap

Differences in the amount of remuneration for men and women are often the subject of criticism. Better rewarded tend to be men, perhaps because they are working more and maternity leave only rarely.

Paradoxically, it is the women who, on average, live longer, and single-parent families often occupy positions breadwinner. At present, therefore, in connection with the change in family structure does not matter who the couple female – male earns more.

In 2008, Slovakia in the 27 Member States of the European Union on 19 place in the ranking of gender differences in pay of more than 20 per cent variation in wages in favor of men. Larger differences have only been in the UK, Cyprus, Lithuania, Greece, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. In doing so, the greatest differences observed in Estonia – up to 30 percent. Conversely, the smallest gender pay gap in 2008 in Italy (less than 5 %), Slovenia, Belgium, Romania and Malta, which have reached a level of about 8.5 percent.

The positive news is that the gender pay gap in Slovakia are generally lower, as evidenced by the data of the Statistical Office. While in 2005 men earned an average of 28.4 percent more than women in 2008 already, only „about 24 percent. In 2010, however, the differences widened again slightly to 24.7 percent.

Although the aim of the pay gap between men and women reduce, there are sectors in which we can observe the opposite tendency. One example is the situation in the Slovak health care, where these differences are increasing every year. While in 2005 the average gross salary of health workers – men by 33.9 percent higher last year already paramedics earning an average of only 42.63 per cent more than their female colleagues.

Vastly different situation can be observed in the similarly female-dominated schools. In this sector, the pay gap remains virtually unchanged, compared with health are much lower. In 2005, men in education earned 30.77 percent more than women, and about six years later, this difference reached 30.84 percent. Given that education and health are among the worst paid our industries, it is interesting to observe that in both sectors work significantly more women than men.

It combines thus a higher concentration of women in certain industries with lower pay automatically or is it just a coincidence? Of course, when comparing men and women with regard to pay not arise quite firm conclusions. Quite the contrary – the results of the comparison are often only approximate, since many factors (physical realities, level of education, number of years of experience, more hours worked etc.) do not place men and women on the same starting position. Thus, there is a significant difference between the average man and the average woman, the statistical comparisons of income greatly distorted.

The EU has more than 50 years fighting the difference in pay for equal or equivalent work. Seven directives issued by the European Commission concerning the equal treatment of men and women, were merged into a single directive, adopted in 2006. Currently valid strategy for equality between men and women (2010 – 2015), in which specific initiatives to incorporate the principle of equality of all Union policies and activities.

The causes of the existence of these differences by the European Commission may be several. First, it may be a form of underestimating the abilities of women, but the game can be as different traditions and stereotypes embedded in society, or compensate for men that are generally dedicated to more work than family.

The pay gap between women and men reinforces the segregation in the labor market. Work is the quality of other places – men rather physically demanding, women as administrative assistants, shop assistants, cleaners, nurses or low-skilled or unskilled workers. These occupations are employed almost half of the female workforce.

Advancement of women in general is slower probably because in many professions mentioned is virtually impossible. All this, however, is reflected in the amount of pension. The risk of poverty among older women is thus compared with men significantly higher.

Eliminating gender disparities in pay while benefits the employee and the employer. Mitigating their employer contributes to the creation of a positive working environment and conditions necessary to improve job performance. This makes it is easier to identify and retain the best employees. Conversely, they can deepen the disadvantaged work disincentive, which is usually also the reason why women today do not favor work before family.