Disclosure of salaries one possible solution to Estonia's pay gap ({{commentsTotal}})

Women of all ages participated in a protest against Estonia's record-high gender pay gap in Tallinn's Tammsaare Park on April 19, 2012. The gap has yet to shrink considerably. Source: (Andres Haabu/Postimees/Scanpix)

A debate held at the European Union House in Tallinn yesterday focused on possibilities for lessening Estonia’s record-high gender pay gap. Leena Kivisild, a member of the Estonian Association of Business and Professional Women, noted that while the problem has been acknowledged, nobody has done anything to resolve it. One possible solution suggested was the disclosure of salaries.

“Nothing specific has been done, either in the private sector or actually by the state,” Kivisild pointed out on ETV’s nightly news broadcast “Aktuaalne kaamera.” “For some reason, political powers have not taken this topic on as a priority, although the gender pay gap essentially affects more than half the population. Unfortunately, the creation of an equality committee in the Riigikogu fizzled out once again a few months ago.”

One possible solution to the gender pay gap suggested at the debate was the disclosure of salaries. “That does not mean that we would start hanging work contracts up on the wall,” explained Kivisild, “Just that businesses would be bold enough to disclose salary ranges.”

The debate held at the European Union House was a part of yesterday’s Equal Pay Day, which marked the point by which the country’s women will have caught up earning what their male counterparts earned in comparable positions in 2015.

At 28.3 percent, according to Eurostat statistics, Estonia had the biggest gender pay gap in the EU for the eighth year in a row. In comparison, the EU’s overall average was 16.2 percent, while the smallest gender pay gap in the union, just 2.9 percent, could be found in Slovenia.

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik

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