rss Current issues

02.03.2012 12:00

European Equal Pay Day reminds of closing the gender pay gap

The European Union Equal Pay Day is on 2 March 2012. It aims at reminding people that a gender pay gap exists in all the EU Member States and encouraging actors to adopt measures to close that gap.

In Finland, the average pay of women is around 82 per cent of the average pay of men. The pay gap is a result of many factors: women and men to work in different sectors and in different tasks, stereotypical views on gender roles prevail, and the skills of men and women are given different values. In Finland, the government and the social partners have been trying to close the gender pay gap since 2006 through a tripartite Equal Pay Programme. The common goal is to bridge the gender pay gap to 15 per cent by the year 2015.

The Equal Pay Programme includes a variety of measures to bridge and rectify the gender pay gap. Measures such as collective agreements, introduction of new pay systems, equality plans and pay surveys, and career development of women have all reduced the gender pay gap. Despite some progress, the goal has turned out a challenging one. However, we do not intend to throw in the towel; instead, we are making efficient use of the different tools in the Equal Pay Programme.

Reaching the goal requires that the social partners adopt measures to improve pay systems, that the traditional segregation in working life is changed, and that the working life is developed. Improving the labour market status of women and introducing a more even distribution of family responsibilities promote also gender equality in working life. Dismantling gender segregation in education serves the same goal. An efficient equality plan plays an essential role for equal pay at workplaces.

Last October the social partners agreed on an extensive collective settlement that formed the basis for union-specific agreements. The framework agreement includes measures for gender equality and equal pay. In order to improve the reconciliation of work and family life, the family leave system is developed by increasing families' range of choice. The father's share of family leaves is increased by extending the paternity leave to 54 weekdays, of which no more than18 days can overlap with the maternity leave. A tripartite working group will be appointed this spring to assess the performance and development needs of pay surveys. It has also been agreed that the social partners assess the equal pay impacts of the collective agreements.

The Equal Pay Programme is an active programme that has a number of ongoing projects to develop pay systems and the working life. Topical are projects that, among other goals, focus on increasing knowledge about pay systems, improving equality of pay and agreement policies, promoting women's career opportunities, enhancing reconciliation of work and family life as well as promoting educational and career choices exempt from the traditional gender roles.

Further information
Outi Viitamaa-Tervonen, Project Manager, tel +358 9 160 70,
Paula Koskinen, Project Coordinator, tel +358 9 160 73289,

Return to headlines

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to improve our website and provide more personalised services to you.


To make this site work properly, we sometimes place small data files called cookies on your device. Most big websites do this too.

1. What are cookies?

A cookie is a small text file that a website saves on your computer or mobile device when you visit the site. It enables the website to remember your actions and preferences (such as login, language, font size and other display preferences) over a period of time, so you don’t have to keep re-entering them whenever you come back to the site or browse from one page to another.

2. How do we use cookies?

A number of our pages use cookies to remember your actions and preferences (such as login, language, font size and other display preferences.)

Also, some videos embedded in our pages use a cookie to anonymously gather statistics on how you got there and what videos you visited.

Enabling these cookies is not strictly necessary for the website to work but it will provide you with a better browsing experience. You can delete or block these cookies, but if you do that some features of this site may not work as intended.

The cookie-related information is not used to identify you personally and the pattern data is fully under our control. These cookies are not used for any purpose other than those described here.

3. How to control cookies

You can control and/or delete cookies as you wish – for details, see You can delete all cookies that are already on your computer and you can set most browsers to prevent them from being placed. If you do this, however, you may have to manually adjust some preferences every time you visit a site and some services and functionalities may not work.