Diversity and Equal Pay Day in Estonia (12)
Today is Diversity Day in Estonia, intended to direct people’s attention to the benefits of cultural diversity and underline the value of every single individual. At the same time, it’s Equal Pay Day: Estonia has the biggest gender pay gap in the European Union.
Diversity Day was started by the Estonian Human Rights Centre. The day insists on every person’s right to equal treatment, and aims to help Estonian society overcome racial, sexual, and religious prejudice as well as to see how all those with special needs of any kind can enrich it.
The day will include organizations of the private as well as the public sector signing an agreement that they support and appreciate the differences among their staff and customers.
The “Tilliga ja tillita” campaign
Today is also dedicated to the matter of equal pay. At 27.3% difference, Estonia has the biggest gender pay gap in the European Union (the EU average is 16.2%). Women on average make a third less than men in the same positions.
This means that in Estonia, a woman on average has to work 100 days more to get to the income of a man in a position comparable to hers. This is why Apr. 13 was chosen as the date for Equal Pay Day - because only today women match their male colleague’s income in 2015.
The “Tilliga ja tillita” campaign will direct people’s attention to this fact. Till, the Estonian word for dill, has a second meaning - making the campaign’s name a slightly less colloquial version of “With or without a man’s privates”.
The dire state Estonian social equality is in, illustrated also by one of the slowest-growing middle classes in Europe (at just over 62%) and a very large high-income group (more than 14% of the population), perhaps justifies the choice.