Equal Pay Day falls on March 6 this year

On average, women work more than two months longer to reach the same pay as men

This year, Equal Pay Day falls on March 6, 2024. It is a symbolic day that draws attention to the fact that, on average, women work 65 days more to reach the same annual earnings as men. According to Eurostat , women in the Czech Republic earn on average 17.9% less than men. After years of reducing the gender pay gap (GPG) – it reached its lowest level of 15% in 2021 – it is now increasing again. The steps to reduce were not systemic, but one-off. In the short term, the average earnings of women were affected by extraordinary bonuses during the Covid era, the increase in tariff bands for some feminized professions, especially in education, and the increase in the minimum wage.

In a closer comparison of the earnings of women and men in a comparable job category, we find the highest differences in the category of managers and legislators, where men prevail not only numerically, but also in terms of their earnings; the difference in median income for 2022 amounts to more than CZK 16,000¹ per month. Next comes the category of specialists, which also includes medical positions and teachers, where, on the other hand, women predominate, but the difference in earnings reaches 11,940 CZK to the disadvantage of women.

Even though women in the Czech Republic successfully complete tertiary education more often (6% more than men), it unfortunately does not ensure better remuneration for them. On the contrary. Among university-educated women and men, the gap in remuneration is by far the largest (25%) . The difference also changes significantly with age. The highest is between the ages of 45-49, when it reaches 23.7% , and the median wage is CZK 7,531 per month. These are the age categories when women often return to the labor market after a parental break, and due to the care of children and the household, which to a greater extent rests on them, they need to choose work strategies that primarily allow greater flexibility.

“Unequal remuneration is usually not intentional on the part of the employer. More and more of them are interested in actively finding out whether they have fairly set remuneration for women and men. It allows them to more effectively use and develop the career potential of all employees,” says Lenka Simerská , head manager Equal Remuneration , a project of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which again this year became an expert partner of the Equal conference Pay Day . So far, flexibility remains the biggest support for Czech women . This means the possibility of working from home and other hybrid models including part-time work. I have been using them in this regard since last year discount on the insurance premium for reduced working hours in the amount of 5% of the total surveyors basis ̊ employee ̊. It is intended for people whose life situation does not allow them to work full- time , including parents of small children. Since the start of the discount, 22.6 thousand were newly created abbreviated tenure ̊.

“The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs takes the issue of equal pay very seriously. We support and at the same time develop specific tools ourselves, the aim of which is, among other things, transparency in the labor market. The Equal Remuneration system project analyzes the remuneration of companies and other institutions. We allow employers to test the degree of fairness in the approach to remuneration, and we offer employees a wage and salary calculator that can show typical earnings according to relevant experience, industry, region and other criteria. We also address equal pay legislatively, for example in discussions about possible amendments to the Labor Code,” says Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL).

The organization has been contributing to changing the corporate culture for 15 yearsBusiness & Professional Women CR (BPWCR). She was the first in the Czech Republic to open communication on the topic of GPG and not only conducts a systematic awareness campaign , but through expertise, the presentation of female role models and examples of good practice, educational and mentoring programs, she succeeds in gaining interest in active solutions both among women themselves and companies. Among the core programs by which it supports women in their economic independence and at the same time contributes to the change of policies in companies , is the inter-company mentoring Empowering Women Mentoring , a UN Global initiative Compact and UN Women called Women’s Empowerment Principles and the Academy for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). During their existence, dozens of companies have participated in these and other programs and hundreds of women have gone through them.

“I feel a huge change in attitude, which gives hope that we will deal with the problem of different attitudes and the gender pay gap. When we started, most people did not know how to deal with this information, and many women claimed that such a difference did not apply to them. Gradually, however, more information came from us and from abroad, the first companies started analyzes of their situation and certification, the media became more interested in the issue. There are a number of companies that regularly address the issue and have programs that eliminate the differences,” says Lenka Šťastná, president of BPWCR .

The flagship project and the culmination of the campaign that BPWCR conducts throughout the year is the two-day international conference Equal Pay Day , which is a unique combination of conference and education. This year’s 15th edition with the theme of Opportunity will take place on April 11 and 12 in Prague and will feature three dozen performers and 80 mentors from the Czech Republic and abroad and will attract hundreds of men and women from management, business, public administration and diplomacy.

¹ Data provided by Equal Remuneration, all medians listed here are calculated according to CZSO 2022 statistics

Information for editors

About the project:

Project Equal Pay Day is officially registered worldwide under the world’s most influential organization Business & Professional Women International , which has consultative status in the UN (since 1947) and in the Council of Europe (since 1977) and was the initiator of organizing EPD worldwide. The Czech concept is so unique within the international organization that it serves as a model activity for other federations. The event contributes to establishing a societal debate and changing culture, meaningfully connecting women and strengthening their position. It also appeals to men, because the topic of equal opportunities should be a topic for the whole of society.

The European Commission classifies the EPD project as an important measure of the EU and its member states to support equal pay. The Czech conference is part of the global campaign of BPW International, which draws attention to inequalities in more than 100 countries of the world and also reports annually to BPW Europe on the European campaign for equal pay.

About BPWCR:

The goal of a public benefit company Business & Professional Women CR (BPWCR) is to support the professional growth of women at all levels and strengthen their economic independence. Through its projects, it contributes to the protection of women’s rights and overcoming barriers, emphasizing education and personal development. Key tools include mentoring, networking and showcasing female role models .

BPWCR’s vision is to increase the share of women in decision-making roles, minimize the gender pay gap and improve the full use of women’s talents. Other key international projects in which BPWCR participates include, for example, the UN Global project Compact Women’sEmpowerment Principles a Academy for Women Entrepreneurs .