Equal Pay & Glass Ceiling

Equal pay & Equal opportunities

The right to equal pay for equal work has been a fundamental human right in the European Union since the 1960s. Nevertheless, the gender pay gap has persisted stubbornly. In the Netherlands, women earn an average of 13% less per hour than men for the same work.

Furthermore, there is a disproportionately low representation of women in top positions within companies, organizations, boards, and even in politics. According to research by Sophie van Gool, the Netherlands has more CEOs named Peter than female CEOs. The glass ceiling proves to be difficult to break through.

  • Due to a lack of transparency about salaries, openly discussing salary is often still considered a taboo.
  • Because of an insufficient representation of women in selection committees and decision-making processes.
  • Due to unconscious gender norms that dictate what women and men are "good" at and how they should behave.
  • Due to denial of the problem by those currently in power.
  • Due to the realistic fear among women of losing their jobs if they raise concerns about inequality
  • Due to a lack of legal protection and an unfair burden of proof.
  • Due to the high costs of research and legal proceedings

For Employees

Earning less than your male colleague while doing the same job. A promotion given to a male colleague without so much as an application process. It still happens to a significant number of working women everyday.

These disparities can have a tremendous impact on both your work and personal life. Raising the issue is not without risks and should be handled with caution. But how?

If you recognise this:

For Employers

Most employers genuinely want to do the right thing. They do not (consciously) intend to pay women less and strive to promote them to higher positions. However, in many cases, they still struggle to achieve these goals. Why is that?

Due to the natural inclination to select and reward people who resemble oneself, unconscious biases still have an impact on job applications and promotions. 

Does your organisation want: 

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New EU Directive

What should or must an employer pay attention to when determining the salary?

In March 2023, the European Parliament adopted a new Directive on equal pay, which creates new obligations for employers.

A transparent application process with a clear job grading policy becomes legally mandatory and must also be made known to applicants. Inquiring about a candidate's previous salary will be prohibited, and employees must be allowed to openly discuss their salaries with each other.

In addition, large employers must conduct an annual study of the average remuneration for male and female employees in a specific job category at the same level. The results must be published. If differences of more than 5% are found, measures must be taken to address the disparities.

With the implementation of the new Directive, employers who pay unequal salaries risk being subjected to substantial fines.

High time to get things in order!

Glass ceiling

Scientific research shows that women who exhibit dominant (masculine) behavior are often perceived as less likable, while likability is often a decisive factor for promotions.

Indeed, there are numerous unconscious gender norms that hinder women in their careers.

"We pay for quality" is a common argument heard. But who determines what quality is? 

A good Diversity and Inclusion policy is infused with that question. Involving people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in decision-making about job requirements is a good start. Other methods can also be employed to achieve a workforce that represents various qualities and competencies.

Glass ceiling

Scientific research shows that women who exhibit dominant (masculine) behavior are often perceived as less likable, while likability is often a decisive factor for promotions.

Indeed, there are numerous unconscious gender norms that hinder women in their careers.

"We pay for quality" is a common argument heard. But who determines what quality is? 

A good Diversity and Inclusion policy is infused with that question. Involving people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in decision-making about job requirements is a good start. Other methods can also be employed to achieve a workforce that represents various qualities and competencies.