Increasing women’s participation in the work force and closing the pay gap between women and men will have a positive impact on economic growth in the European Union. Despite recent improvements, there are still persistent gender gaps in labour market activity and pay, which result in lower employment rates for women, potentially limiting EU growth. Addressing these issues is crucial to meet the Europe 2020 target to achieve an overall employment rate of women and men of at least 75 % by 2020.
A study from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) on the ‘economic benefits of gender equality’ puts forth robust evidence showing the positive impacts of reducing gender inequalities in the labour market.
Gender equality measures that can reduce gender gaps include:
- providing childcare and other care provision;
- changes in parental leave pay and conditions;
- promotion and support of part‑time and flexible working arrangements;
- legal provisions and policies regarding equal pay and working conditions;
- removing gender segregation across sectors and occupations;
- reducing the number of career breaks among women;
- promoting women into senior positions.