The wage gap begins at home: 54% of women carry most of the tasks


  • Men spend 32% fewer hours on housework before or after their workday

Great part of wage gap between men and women it resides in the kitchen stoves, in the socks to wash and dry, in the toilet bowls to clean, in the shopping lists to cross off and in the children or grandparents to take care of. If half of the differences in remuneration between genders are explained by the lack of hours available to work, the other half of that currency is the responsibilities in the home that each one assumes. The 54% of working women loaded with half or more of the tasks of the house, while 45% of male workers admit to doing less than half, almost nothing or directly nothing at home, as confirmed by the survey of quality and working conditions published this week by the Observatori del Treball i el Model Productiu of the Generalitat.

The recent study by the Observatori is one of the most complete on working conditions in Catalonia, it is based on data from 2019 compiled from a sample of 3,000 workers. Among its 181 pages of document, it analyzes the psychosocial risks by sectors of activity, the demand and intensity at work or the margins for conciliation. And one of its sections is specifically intended for the distribution of household chores, a field not always covered by labor studies. Here the photograph is clear: equity is not the dominant trend and it is more frequent that they ‘help at home’ and they ‘take care of these things’ prevail.

Women spend an average of 22.8 hours weekly to attend to domestic tasks, compared to the 15.4 hours What do men say? In other words, the care gap is 32%. A difference in the use and availability of time that has a direct impact on job opportunities. There are several studies that have pointed in this direction, such as that of the Bank of Spain, which shows that women lose 11.2% of your salary after having a child, while fathers only 0.15%. A grievance that drag up to 10 years after motherhood.

In this sense, the data from the Generalitat study show that men perceive paternity as a much lower risk for their professional careers. Well, while 22.5% of workers consider that being parents would negatively affect their careers; this proportion almost doubles (42.5%) among women. Which has a direct effect on birth rates and explains the recent decline in birth rates.

“The Nordic countries and the United States have managed to relaunch their birth rates. The former because they have a strong public sector, which gives them stable working conditions, and the latter because with an unemployment rate of close to 5% it is relatively easy to return to enter the market after having children”, explains the UB professor Ció Patxot. “Here we have neither one nor the other,” she adds.

Other analyses, such as the most recent CCOOfocus on the time available to work and attribute half of the wage gap to the high bias among women, compared to a much lower proportion among men. The Observatori study also corroborates this ‘slab’ of partiality towards women, especially since it is more linked to family responsibilities than to personal ambitions.

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To begin with, there are three times more part-time women (23.7%) than men (8.6%). And although between both genders the most frequent explanation is that they are not full time because they cannot (40%), the rest denotes a marked gender bias. Men who want to be part-time see in this reduced format -of hours and income- a possibility to study or form or a way to have more time for them. While the female workers surveyed indicate that their main motivation is to take care of your children or relatives.

45% of men are gap deniers

It depends on the statistics or the methodology used, the wage gap between men or women it is situated to a greater or lesser degree. The most recurrent is the reference to the INE Salary Structure Surveywhose latest data is from 2019 and which shows a wage gap of 20.5% for Spain and the 20.6% for Catalonia. which translates to some 6,000 euros per year that women earn less. If you get hold of the EPA by INE decilesthe gap is 16.2% and of some 4,300 euros per year Of diference.

Other houses, What Eurostatare committed to analyzing the gap per effective hour of work, which in the case of Spain is 11.9%. Be that as it may, the common denominator in the available statistics is that there is a gap and that it harms women. However, there is a not less percentage of men who declare themselves deniers of this gap, according to a recent survey of the employment portal infojobs. 45% of men, among the 1,440 human resources managers surveyed, consider that there are no pay differences between men and women. While 82% of the women surveyed within the same sample do consider that it exists.


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