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SEEKING SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE THE 15% GENDER PAY GAP IN LATVIA

On March 8th, as part of the Novatore Impact Summit, an ideas sprint will begin to reduce the pay gap between men and women. The event will be held in collaboration with the technology company Accenture and will involve 16 business leaders and experts from various fields to create innovative solutions to the issue of gender pay gap.


 


According to Eurostat data, the pay gap between men and women in Latvia was 22.3% in 2020, while the average in Europe was 13%. In 2021, thanks to state support measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the situation improved and the gap decreased to 14.6%. The gender pay gap is a globally accepted standard for comparing differences in pay between men and women. It is calculated as the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of men and women.


“In Latvia, for every euro earned by a man, a woman earns only 85 cents. Despite the fact that women often have higher education and qualifications, they work in lower-paid jobs and often perform duties that are not paid at all, such as household chores, childcare, and caring for elderly parents. There are highly paid "male" professions, such as in the technology industry, and low-paid "female" professions, such as in education and the social sphere. Women also hold fewer leadership positions in business. For example, according to Lursoft data, only about a quarter of board members in the top 500 companies are women.

Unfortunately, we are in a leading position in a negative sense in the European Union. The unequal treatment also affects women’s long-term quality of life as it relates to their pension level. It should be noted that women's life expectancy exceeds that of men by almost 10 years. The EU has also recognised this problem as significant and plans to introduce new rules on transparency of pay, but we do not want to wait for the EU initiatives. We should improve the situation right now by finding specific solutions suitable for Latvia."


Dagnija Lejiņa, Co-founder of Novatore

Ideas will be sought according to the principles of design thinking


We will search for solutions in an idea spring using the principles of “design thinking”. The results will be presented at the Novatore Impact Summit on April 27. The goal of the idea sprint is to create proposals for policy guidelines that will reduce the gender pay gap.


"Accenture employees have been helping clients solve various problems using modern methodologies, which allow for finding possible solutions relatively quickly. Our contribution to the idea sprint is to adapt modern methodologies so that, in two sessions working in groups, we arrive at an action plan covering the timeline and distribution of responsibilities. During the process, we also will share our company's own experience, as equality principles are at the core of our actions. Some activities can be implemented quickly, while others will be addressed over the course of a year. There will be activities that we encourage women to do independently, but other activities will require the assistance of employers and state institutions."


Alda Zeila, Inclusion and Diversity Sponsor for the Baltics at Accenture.

Nearly half of the population is affected by gender inequality


Data from the “Novatore Baltic Gender Equality Barometer 2022*” indicates that:

  • 44% of the Baltic population has encountered gender inequality, with 27% of men and 61% of women experiencing it.

  • Most of the time in the Baltics gender inequality is faced in remuneration (in Latvia -16%), when looking for a job (in Latvia -15%) and in the distribution of home responsibilities (in Latvia - 12%). Women are less likely to believe that pay equality is possible. More often, project managers have encountered various types of discrimination in the workplace – both in the attitude and remuneration of colleagues and management.

  • Only 60% of respondents in Latvia admitted that there is equality in the choice of profession, 55% – in career growth, 46% – in remuneration.

  • The survey shows that women are less likely to believe in equal pay for equal responsibilities. Women's and men's expectations for the desired salary also vary, with almost a 200 euro difference. The gap is a smaller in the 30-39 age group.

  • 40% of Latvian respondents believe that a woman's main role is to take care of the home and family, and 38% believe that men should earn more than women.

  • 80% of Latvian respondents indicate that women spend more time on household chores (cooking, cleaning, etc.) than men.

  • One in five Baltic respondents believe that jobs that require making responsible decisions are more suitable for men, and that men are better suited to be high-level managers in large companies.



* During August 2022 in collaboration with Novatore, the research agency Forta Research and the market research data collector Norstat conducted a survey in the Baltic countries, interviewing 3,352 residents aged 18 to 65.
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