With the health crisis related to Covid-19, wage inequalities between men and women have stopped decreasing. MARTIN BARRAUD/OJO IMAGES / PHOTONONSTOP
According to the feminist collective Les Glorieuses, since Wednesday, November 3 at 9:22 a.m., French women have been working "for free": they are no longer paid for the remaining 16.5% of the year, according to a calculation based on the gender pay gap published by Eurostat in 2021 (with data from 2019). The communication of this symbolic date, accompanied on social networks by the hashtag #3november9h22, serves above all to raise awareness about wage inequality, even if its methodology can be discussed.
What emerges this year is that the gender pay gap, which had decreased slightly from 2018 to 2020 (from 16.7% to 15.5% gap) rebounded in 2021, partly due to the Covid-19 crisis, a phenomenon seen throughout Europe. Not only have the modest progress made in recent years towards parity been erased, but in addition women "who have worked remotely have also taken on more tasks, especially with children".
A slow decline halted by the Covid-19 crisis This graph shows the percentage of wage gap in France between the incomes of women and men. Source: Eurostat Read also Wages, media, health ... progress towards gender equality stopped by the Covid-19 pandemic Different calculations but the same observation: the gap remains
The calculation method of the collective Les Glorieuses is based on data from the European statistics body Eurostat, but other institutions put forward different figures. Thus, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concludes that there was a gap of 11.5% in France in 2018 (compared to 16.7% for Eurostat in the same year).
The Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (Insee), for its part, calculated a gap of 14.1% on average in 2017, specifying that the pay gap has decreased moderately since the beginning of the twenty-first century (on the order of 0.4 percentage points per year on average).
These digit shifts are explained by different calculation methods. To calculate the income gap between women and men, Insee and Eurostat use the gross hourly wage. A technique that makes it possible not to take into account the payment of bonuses, remuneration varying according to performance or seasonal payments. The OECD, for its part, calculates the difference between the median salary of men and women. In any case, these methods smooth out the results, since they do not take into account the level of education, experience in the labor market or the type of employment.
But regardless of the thermometer used, the differences remain significant. Eurostat provides some explanations: for example, the fact that "sectors in which women make up the majority of workers [health or education] have lower wage levels than those found in more predominantly male sectors", such as finance or IT. On the other hand, women are also less represented in positions of responsibility, the most remunerative.
And to the World? The law of September 5, 2018 provides that companies calculate and publish their "gender equality index". The Société éditrice du Monde (SEM) obtains a result of 94/100 for the year 2020 which is broken down as follows: the pay gap between women and men: 39/40, the difference in individual increase rates: 20/20, the difference in promotion rates: 15/15, the wage evolution of women on their return from maternity leave: 15/15, the number of women and men among the ten highest salaries: 5/10. In percentages, this gives an average pay gap of 1.5% in favor of men in 2020; it is reduced to 0.71% with the weighting provided for by the methods of calculating the index.
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