3.11.2016

Akava: The rate of the women’s euro (a.k.a. neuro) could be increased through company-specific solutions

Akava would like to remind us that tools for improving the rate of the women’s euro or ‘neuro’ (coined from the Finnish word ‘nainen’ – woman – and euro), are already available. Through co-operation and mutual agreements, employers and employees can advance a more equal division of family leaves and increase the female employment rate.

Employers can encourage fathers to take family leaves and, thus, facilitate women’s return to work.

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“Shouldn’t we employ local bargaining specifically to correct any issues that affect the employment rate? Together, employees and employers can find solutions to balance out many of the issues related to the inequitable division of family leaves,” states Director Maria Löfgren.

Companies can develop recruiting practices that are free from gender bias, for example, by making the work application process anonymous up to a certain point. Workplaces must carry out salary surveys in order to increase the coverage and availability of information beyond the minimum required by law. The surveys would allow for analyses of the gender pay gap, and eliminate any differences that are lacking legitimate justifications.

In order to achieve complete equality in working life, it is essential that gender play as little a role as possible in career choices or recruiting decisions. Furthermore, both genders must have an equal opportunity to take family leaves and to become employed regardless of their use. An employee’s pay must be based on transparent criteria.

“A family leave reform would have the greatest impact in terms of ways to increase equality, because it would ensure that family leaves are divided more equally,” explains Löfgren.

Akava demands that the reform of the family leave system be initiated already during this electoral term. The reform needs to be carried out, first and foremost, from employment and equality perspectives.
“A more balanced family leave system would improve women’s position within the job market, increase equality for working life, family life and fathers, and support children’s right to both of their parents. Finland would rise above Sweden as a model country for equality and as an attractive place to live and work. A family leave reform could quite possibly be the most significant building block for Finland’s success story at this moment,” states Sture Fjäder, President of Akava.
Akava presents a new video: Boosting the Neuro

Akava has published a new video entitled ‘Neurolle nostovoimaa’ (Boosting the Neuro). Akava’s ‘neuro’ videos take 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.

According to the Structure of Earnings statistics issued by Statistics Finland, women's total earnings were 82 per cent of men's earnings last year. That means that a woman would need to use 1.22 women’s euro (or neuro) in order to gain the same purchasing power that is held by one man’s euro.

“The reasons behind the gender pay gap are numerous; traditionally gendered professions explain some of it, and overtime work and result-based bonuses also play a role. There still remain, today, workplace-level pay policies that are based on gender or the use of family leaves, and they have an impact of +/-10 per cent on salary differences within many Akava fields,” says Löfgren.

In Akava’s opinion, the discussion surrounding an increase in the value of the neuro must continue until such discourse has been made obsolete. The websites of Akava and its affiliate unions provide tips on ways to try to increase the value of the neuro already today.

More on the subject:
Akava’s new neuro video: Boosting the Neuro
Akava’s previous neuro video: It's high time for a rise in the rate of the women’s euro: www.akava.fi/neuronkurssi_nousuun_video
Akava article:  Women’s euro is less than men’s

Additional information:
Sture Fjäder, President of Akava, tel. +358 (0)400 609 717, Twitter: @SFjder
Maria Löfgren, Director, tel. +358 (0)40 568 2798, Twitter: @marialofg

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