Equal Pay Day: Joint Statement by Vice-President Jourová and Commissioners Schmit and Dalli

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

Women in the European Union still earn less than men on average. For every 1 euro men earn, women earn 86 cents. European Equal Pay Day is a day marking the path left towards achieving pay equality between women and men in the EU. This year, European Equal Pay Day falls on 10 November.

Ahead of this symbolic day, Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, said:

“Equality is one of the EU’s fundamental values and it is the bedrock to people’s independence and freedom. Women and men deserve equal pay, treatment and opportunities.

While equal pay between men and women has been enshrined in EU treaties for more than 60 years, it is not fully implemented. Despite improvements to women’s positions in social and professional life, pay differences remain wide and entrenched.

The factors behind the gender pay gap are manifold: care responsibility falls predominantly on women who consequently more often work part-time. Women often work in lower paid sectors and lower paid jobs within sectors. They face the problem of the corporate glass ceiling, and are paid less than men for performing the same work or work of equal value. This has a knock-on effect on their pensions which are also lower. Progress on narrowing the gender pay gap has been, and continues to be, slow.

Disregard for the equal pay principle remains untraced and a lack of pay transparency consistently puts women and some men at a disadvantage.

Through the proposal towards a Pay Transparency Directive earlier this year, the Commission aims to empower workers with concrete tools to assert their rights, and most importantly to strengthen the application of equal pay in companies.

Organisations that take the time to develop standards around pay transparency and compensation, are better placed to attract top talent and become tomorrow’s leaders. Today’s employees and young generations as well as tomorrow’s workforce expect more from employers in terms of inclusion and fairness.

On this symbolic day the Commission calls upon the co-legislators to adopt the Pay Transparency Directive without undue delay.”


Nine out of ten Europeans – women and men – think that it is unacceptable that women are paid less than men for the same work or work of equal value. European workers agree with pay transparency: 64% of them have said they are in favour of the publication of average wages by job type and gender at their company.

At the Porto Social Summit in May 2021, EU leaders, EU institutions, social partners and civil society reinforced their commitment to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Pillar sets out 20 key principles and rights essential for fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems in the 21st century, including principle 2 on gender equality. The Pillar Action Plan sets three new 2030 headline targets and calls on Member States to at least halve the gender employment gap.

The Commission’s proposal on pay transparency, adopted on 4 March 2021 focuses on strengthening the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women. It empowers workers to claim their rights and incentivises companies to review their pay structure.

In 2012, the Commission also proposed to improve the gender balance on corporate boards, setting the aim of a minimum of 40% of non-executive members of the under-represented sex on company boards.

The Commission’s proposal on adequate minimum wages for workers, adopted on 28 October 2020, supports gender equality by helping to close the gender pay gap and to lift women out of poverty, as more women than men earn minimum wages in Europe.

The Commission addresses women’s underrepresentation in the labour market by improving the work-life balance of working parents and carers. In June 2019, the EU adopted the Directive on work-life balance, which introduces minimum standards for rights to paternity and parental leave. The Directive also included rights to carer’s leave and flexible working arrangements for workers. Member States have until 2 August 2022 to transpose the Directive into national legislation.

The Commission will also launch a campaign to challenge persisting stereotypes about women and men, boys and girls, in different areas of life, including work.

The Commission Recommendation on standards for equality bodies, adopted in June 2018, paved the way for better support for victims of discrimination, including pay discrimination.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

African cooperation on peace ‘increasingly strong’, Security Council told

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

Mobile technology saving lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technology solutions

A Sting Exclusive: “Technology for all, development for all: the role of ITU”, written by the Secretary General of the United Nations Agency

The historical performance of women in human health

Mental health in times of a pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

Why the way of loving closes doors of health?

MEPs agree on future regional and cohesion funding

Sakharov Prize 2021: Parliament to announce candidates

‘More time’ agreed for buffer zone, to spare three million Syrian civilians in Idlib

Lockdown is the world’s biggest psychological experiment – and we will pay the price

5 ways cities can use emerging technologies to fight climate change

COVID-19: Commission steps up research funding and selects 17 projects in vaccine development, treatment and diagnostics

Coronavirus: new procedure to facilitate and speed up approval of adapted vaccines against COVID-19 variants

These are the most innovative cities in the world

How COVID-19 revealed 3 critical AI procurement blindspots that could put lives at risk

Indonesian tsunami death toll climbs over 400 as Government-led relief efforts are stepped up

Coronavirus: Macro-financial assistance agreement provides for €80 million disbursement to North Macedonia

Digital Finance Package: Commission sets out new, ambitious approach to encourage responsible innovation to benefit consumers and businesses

Should trade continue to be global after the pandemic?

UN chief applauds Bangladesh for ‘opening borders’ to Rohingya refugees in need

The European Commission and Austria secure COVID-19 vaccines for the Western Balkans

Violent disorder is on the rise. Is inequality to blame?

Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

Ditching plastic straws isn’t enough. Here’s how to achieve zero waste.

A call for a new crop of innovators

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €24.9 billion in pre-financing to Italy

EU Digital COVID Certificate enters into application in the EU

EU to pay a dear price if the next crisis catches Eurozone stagnant and deflationary; dire statistics from Eurostat

The results of Finland’s basic income experiment are in. Is it working?

Growing a new coral reef in a fraction of the time with a fragment of the coral

EU elections update: Can the EU voters vote unaffected from fake news and online disinformation?

This plastic-free bag dissolves in water

Canada has high levels of well-being and solid growth but trade tensions and housing market pose risks while inclusiveness could be improved

Global leaders adopt agenda to overcome COVID-19 crisis and avoid future pandemics

Safer roads: More life-saving technology to be mandatory in vehicles

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

FROM THE FIELD: Weather reports come to aid of Uganda’s farmers

EU leaders let tax-evaders untouched

What does reimagining our energy system look like?

Unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Mali revealed in new report

UN Envoy urges Burundi leaders to ‘seize opportunities for national unity and peace’

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: funding for Palestine refugees, families today, tech surveillance

Meeting the crypto regulatory challenge

Business models inspired by nature are the future

Business is a crucial partner in solving the mental health challenge

3 important lessons from 20 years of working with social entrepreneurs

3 ways to ensure the internet’s future is creative, collaborative and fair

UN must bring more women police officers into the fold to be effective – UN peacekeeping official

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help

Prospect of lasting peace ‘fading by the day’ in Gaza and West Bank, senior UN envoy warns

Does the “climate change” require ombudsman services for environment?

Not a single child spared the ‘mind-boggling violence’ of Yemen’s war

Stakeholder capitalism is urgently needed – and the COVID-19 crisis shows us why

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Climate change and health: a much needed multidisciplinary approach

Desires for national independence in Europe bound by economic realities

Brazil must immediately end threats to independence and capacity of law enforcement to fight corruption

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: