The gender pay gap situation in EU healthcare
On March 3rd, the European Commission proposed measures to ensure equal pay for equal work, to introduce pay transparency for workers and employers as well as better access to justice for victims of pay discrimination. The gender pay gap in the EU stands at 14.1% and has only changed minimally over the last decade. This means that women earn 14.1% on average less per hour than men. The reasons for the gender pay gap go beyond the simple issue of discrimination. They are a consequence of various inequalities women face in access to work, progression and rewards including sectoral segregation, work-life balance and leadership opportunities. Furthermore, in the health sector, in the third quarter of 2020, 14.3 million people aged 15 and over were employed in health occupations in the EU, representing over 7% of employed people and almost 4% of people aged 15 and over. These health jobs include medical doctors (1.8 million), nurses, midwives and their associates (4.4 million, out of which 2.7 million are associates), personal care workers (3.9 million), other health professionals and associates (4.1 million). It is evident that nurses are by far the largest part of the workforce but still working conditions and remuneration do not reflect the importance of their role over the past year on the frontline of the COVID19 response to provide quality care to patients and keep our healthcare systems resilient.