Women’s jobs incorrectly assessed from the beginning Sonja says in an interview with the news agency that the main reason for this large income difference is the gender division of the labor market and that women’s jobs have been incorrectly assessed from the very beginning: “Jobs there The majority of women were previously employed in the home and then entered the labor market, for example in care work and in preschools. And then it’s just wrong in the beginning because the society of that time did not value these jobs, and it still is. Because if it is given incorrectly in the beginning and the wage development in each wage agreement is similar between the sexes, then the error is always there, “she says.
Many things come into play, for example interaction family and work life; often more responsibility for household chores and care for children and the elderly falls on the shoulders of women than men, women take longer maternity leave and work more unpaid work in the home than men. They also work more part-time and therefore have less opportunity for career development.
“Gender-based study and career choices also have an effect, as do power and influence because women are less likely to be elected to management positions than men. And then stereotypes always affect all of this, both the value assessment but also the choice of job, “she says.
More scope to raise men’s salaries There is a gender gap in employment income in both the private and public labor markets. “We see a huge difference in total wages between men and women. There is often a smaller difference between the basic salary and when you look at overtime and other salaries that are added to the basic salary, the gap increases significantly, “says Sonja.
When she is asked what explains she says that classes where women are in the vast majority are more in the public labor market and there they work according to rates in the wage agreement and have little chance of wage increases. “In jobs where men are in the majority, there is generally more opportunity to raise wages. There seems to be more scope for raising men in wages than women, “says Sonja.
Underestimated emotional load accompanies women’s work What steps can be taken to correct the gender gap?
“Ways to combat this and eliminate skewed valuations in women’s jobs need to be multifaceted, “says Sonja. “First of all, we need to realize the inequality inherent in this and consider how women’s jobs are valued and what is missing,” she adds, explaining:
“I think it is a very underestimated emotional strain that often accompanies jobs where women are in the vast majority. It is common in jobs where men are in the majority that they receive extra pay for things that threaten their safety, but this has not been as common in the female classes. If we take, for example, those who work in law enforcement, there is an increase in wages due to security threats, but women who work with people who do not control their actions, for example, are not assessed for wages in the same way, “she says.
Sonja believes that the first step is to admit that women’s wages have been wrong from the very beginning, as she discussed above. Gender bias in the valuation of jobs will continue to exist if no decision is made to counteract it.
The epidemic sheds light on the importance of certain jobs And do you feel interested in changing this in this country? ?
Sonja says that now there is no real progress in gender equality and that despite Iceland doing well in international comparisons, progress is needed: “You need to commit equality in order to achieve it. This is a constant project, you do not check in and finish this work, “she says.
She is optimistic, however, and says that the coronary heart disease epidemic has highlighted the importance of various jobs that women do more. a men. “One can now feel from the coronavirus epidemic that all the nations of the world are discussing this. Now the spotlight is on the importance of these jobs, the front-line people, the vast majority of whom are women and are in the health or care professions and in schools. And we find, for example, within the international organizations of which we are a member, that everyone is wondering how to eradicate this skewed value and realize that there has not been enough respect for this work and that it needs to be correct it. And I believe that this same awareness-raising has taken place in this country, that we see that these are essential jobs and then we must guarantee people a salary in accordance with the value of the jobs and the contribution to society as a whole that they provide, “she says .
Declaration of intent by the government a big step In connection with the conclusion of wage agreements, in March last year, between the state and municipalities on the one hand and certain member associations of BSRB on the other however, the government announced that it would launch work to re-evaluate women’s jobs. To this end, a working group was set up with representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs, trade unions and employers’ associations, with the task of proposing measures to eliminate the gender pay gap in order to correct systematic underestimation. jobs where women are in the majority. Sonja says that the working group aims to submit proposals this spring.
She considers it a very big step that the government has declared that the value of jobs where women are in the majority is incorrectly assessed . She welcomes the fact that the government has shown a willingness to rectify this.