The gender pay gap is the percentage difference between the average hourly earnings for men and woman. It is no secret that the gender pay gap exists. It should be our goal to close this gap, but this isn’t easy at all. The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge effect on our working life and this includes the gender pay gap. The lockdown has reinforced the causes and the impact of the gap.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education found that mothers were 47% more likely to have permanently lost their job or quit, and 14% were more likely to have been furloughed since the start of the crisis. There are several reasons for this.
The retail sector, the hospitality sector, the tourism sector and the personal care sector are dramatically harmed by the crisis and the lockdown. Those sectors employ large numbers of women. Another cause is that women are more likely to take care of the children. With the closure of schools and early childhood development centres, women were forced to manage work and childcare. No one could be expected to do their job perfectly in those circumstances; target delivery, mental health and opportunities for progression are all affected.
This entire situation threatens to deepen the gender pay gap. So, what can we do to stop this?
– Offering a flexible schedule and the opportunity to work from home can help women to do both, working and taking care of their children. This could also encourage men to help with the children.
– We need more awareness. We need to recognize that many people have a lot to take care of besides their work. That should be a reason to support each other.
– Companies must accept flexible worktimes and adapt to this new situation