Minister Blomqvist: Gender equality planning at workplaces must be enhanced
According to a recent study, gender equality planning and pay surveys have not been fully realised at workplaces as envisaged in the Act on Equality between Women and Men. The majority of workplaces that are obliged to prepare a gender equality plan do so, but there is considerable variation in the scope, quality and timeliness of these plans. There are challenges concerning pay surveys in particular
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health commissioned Statistics Finland to conduct a study on gender equality plans and pay surveys at workplaces 2020. The study examined the coverage and quality of these personnel policy plans and surveys and how common they are at workplaces. The study, which was based on an extensive questionnaire, focused on both private and public sector organisations.
“It seems that workplace equality plans have improved slightly compared to the previous study that was conducted ten years ago,” says Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist. “However, it appears that the greatest challenges are still related to pay surveys. The study highlights the need to amend the Act on Equality between Women and Men and to improve its implementation.”
“Labour market organisations also play a key role in improving gender equality plans and pay surveys,” says Minister Blomqvist.
Based on the results of the study, there are major differences between organisations as to the coverage of gender equality plans. “The biggest shortcomings are in the preparation and content of pay surveys,” says Senior Statistician Henna Attila from Statistics Finland. “What is positive is that the majority of organisations comply with the Act by drawing up a gender equality plan.”
Comprehensive gender equality plans of a high quality are an important tool for promoting gender equality and narrowing the pay gap between men and women. The average pay gap between women and men in the whole labour market is 16 per cent, and it is narrowing very slowly. The same pay for the same work or for work of equal value is a both fundamental and human right.
The results of the study will be used in the promotion of equal pay, and they will also serve as background information for the development of legislation. The study is part of the set of measures under the Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government that aims to promote equal pay in 2020–2023. This set of measures also includes the common measures of the Government and central labour market organisations for narrowing the gender pay gap. The negotiations on the measures are reaching their conclusion.
Silja Borgarsdóttir Sandelin, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 150 116, silja.borgarsdottirsandelin(at)om.fi
Henna Attila, Senior Statistician, Statistics Finland, tel. +358 29 551 3378, henna.attila(at)stat.fi
Outi Viitamaa-Tervonen, Project Manager, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 2951 63230, outi.viitamaa-tervonen(at)stm.fi