Pay gap in the midst of a pandemic: how COVID-19 affected inequalities
The European Day for Equal Pay is celebrated on 22 February, an event that tries to raise awareness and raise awareness of this terrible gap between men and women. Unfortunately, and according to data processed by the comparator Acierto.com, the COVID-19 crisis only worsens it. Experts report a decline of up to 8 years. Specifically, they earn around 4,900 euros per year or less than them. A figure that exceeds 6,000 euros in some communities such as Andalusia and Madrid.
The pay gap: factors at play
And it is that if the pay gap is the result of multiple factors and a system that reproduces and maintains inequalities, the pandemic has revealed that it is still they who assume the majority of family responsibilities, as well as the importance of conciliation. One of the most salient points is the return to work after the state of alarm, as they are the ones who continue to care for children and the elderly.
Unfortunately, this is not something unique to the pandemic, but rather a situation which, despite the regulatory framework and the achievements obtained, continues to exist. More specifically, they devote almost 38% of overtime to the care and education of family members. In addition, nearly 92% of people who took time off to care for their children in the third quarter of 2020 were women.
However, working fewer hours is not always linked to caring for family members, but to the fact that women also have more difficulty finding full-time work (53% of cases). 74% of part-time contracts belong to women. And it is not something voluntary.
We also cannot forget that more than one in three women earn less than 1,250 euros per month.
The pay gap increases with age
The pay gap, according to Acierto.com, increases with age. In other words, the differences are more visible after 50 years (when the difference exceeds 20%). And the same goes for motherhood, which triggers differences.
Likewise, it occurs at all levels of education, which attracts strong attention given that 52% of workers with higher education qualifications are women. Paradoxically, 67% of managerial and managerial positions are held by men. They take up to 5 years longer than them to get it.
The gap, also between entrepreneurs
The gap is also notable in the field of entrepreneurship: before the state of alert, it was women who led the growth of the self-employed in Spain. A situation which, because of the factors analyzed, has slowed down and the figures are striking if we take into account the fact that they are more reluctant than they to undertake: 45.8% of men consider that there are opportunities to do so, compared to 39.2% of women.
In addition, 41% of those who do do so in search of alternatives to the labor market and, in many cases, the search for conciliation and flexibility is a big part of this.
Here, it must be borne in mind that they trust less than in their abilities to achieve this successfully. The result? That, despite the fact that women represent 51% of the population, only 1 in 5 emerging companies in our country is run by one of them. The typical profile of (general) entrepreneur in Spain is, in fact, that of a man (81%) with technical university studies and around 35 years old.
Here too, another factor comes into play: women are more careful than men. 73% consider financial stability to be fundamental, and up to 57% believe that it is necessary to have financial or business knowledge. Advice is another point to advise. It is interesting to note that in practice, 7 out of 10 men turn to entrepreneurship support services, while only 30% of them do.
Considering the current situation, another key point is to consider not only the start-up costs of the business, but also what it would mean to have to shut it down. Something that is more valued after the entry of the pandemic.
There are options
Fortunately, there are a few options. For example, in the face of temporary closures, having commercial insurance can be a solution. The daily allowance for temporary cessation of activity is one of the usual advantages of these contracts. The insured receives a daily amount for a specified period of time. It all depends on the guarantees contracted and the amount insured.
But it is possible that the temporary cessation of activity is only considered in very specific cases such as an accident with material damage or theft. The most desirable thing, according to Acierto.com, is to consult the policy that we have contracted. Likewise, to calculate coverage and its application, the law requires that the loss of income exists and be proven.
In all cases, the Acierto.com comparator recommends taking out civil liability insurance which protects the entrepreneur and his company against possible claims and damage to third parties. This would cover for example the accident of an employee within the company, the damage to a customer and even the costs of indemnity and defense in many cases.