Akava: The rate of the female euro (#fewro) must be raised
The Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland Akava demands that the rate of the women’s euro or female euro finally be raised. According to the Structure of Earnings statistics of Statistics Finland, the narrowing of the gender pay gap seems to be making little progress. The total earnings of women are approximately 82 per cent of men’s earnings.
– Akava strives to promote gender pay equality. Last year, Akava made a campaign where it produced a video and other material to illustrate the issue. The aim of the female euro or women’s euro (neuro in Finnish) campaign was to drive people to demand an increase in the rate of the women's euro through structural solutions and a change in operational methods. However, very little progress has been achieved, says Senior Specialist Lotta Savinko from Akava.
The ‘female euro' currency (fewro) is useful in explaining, in practice, what the gender pay gap means for those with average earnings. Since a woman’s total earnings are 82 per cent of a man’s earnings, she will need to use 1.22 female euro in order to gain the same purchasing power that is held by one man’s euro. The matter is further demonstrated through Akava’s video with a humorous approach in order to show what the differences between the total earnings of men and women would mean if they were to be converted into actual currency exchange rates.
The reasons behind the pay gap can partially be explained by the fact that men often choose to go into higher paying fields and managerial positions, while women take the primary responsibility for taking care of the family's daily life at home. However, this does not explain everything. The unexplained aspect of the pay gap is at the level of, for example, 11 per cent among the membership of Finnish Business School Graduates and 5 per cent among the members of TEK (Academic Engineers and Architects).
Studies have shown that companies that practice pay equality see an improved overall result. Workplaces now have access to tools for dealing with the pay gap in their own company. Guidance on pay issues is also available from unions affiliated to Akava.
– We can eliminate the unexplained pay gap by implementing the statutory pay surveys and righting any biases within the workplace. Companies need to develop pay systems that are open and based on the assessment of the requirements of specific tasks, and implement them through, for example, collective agreements or local bargaining, stresses Savinko.
More on the issue: Akava’s video: It's high time for a rise in the rate of the female euro
Lotta Savinko, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 (0) 40 504 4356, twitter: @LSavinko