WeAreOpen Reveals Women's Day Action Plan to Tackle Wage Gap

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WeAreOpen's new initiative aims to raise awareness of gender economic inequality and provide companies with concrete proposals for equal pay.

Although the principle of equal pay for equal work was introduced in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, the gender pay gap remains a challenge in Europe. While the EU average has been slowly but steadily decreasing - from 17.4% in 2012 to 13.5% in 2021 - the gender pay gap in Hungary has tended to fluctuate: according to EU data, it was 19.1% in 2002 and 17.5% in 2022 (the lowest in 2015 and 2016, at 14%). Put simply, this means that, for the same work, women earn on average less than men per hour.

In response to this phenomenon, WeAreOpen, together with the Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce, presented a document for all to see, which offers companies an action plan to close the gender pay gap.

"Closing the pay gap can increase efficiency and productivity in the long term, as people are more motivated to work, can perform better professionally, and feel better about themselves when they see that they are paid fairly and equally and have equal opportunities for promotion within the company. On the other hand, the legislative environment also puts pressure on firms. The EU Equal Pay Directive must be transposed into national law by the summer of 2026. After that, companies will have to report on the pay gap. Thirdly, there is a moral argument, and that is that we have the opportunity in the 21st century to review social constructs that have led to structural inequality," said Nóra Várady, CEO of WeAreOpen.

The implementation of the Action Plan's proposals in the business environment can of course only be tailored to the specific circumstances of the company concerned. WeAreOpen helps companies to do this - the first step in the process is an audit to assess the company's DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) maturity. This is followed by the definition of concrete steps and action plans, which the organization develops together with the company's management.

In the action plan that has just been published, the organization outlines specific steps to reduce the pay gap, including:
Ensuring a transparent salary and benefits system.
Pay scales in job advertisements.
The introduction of flexible working arrangements for family workers and consideration of the introduction of paternity leave.
The introduction of programs to remove the glass ceiling and support female talent, as well as gender equality measures in early promotions.
Developing inclusive recruitment processes, for example by making information on family allowances available in job advertisements, or structuring interview questions to ensure that professional rather than family planning aspects are taken into account in an interview, irrespective of gender.

“Changing the situation is not easy and awareness of the problem needs to be raised by business leaders, legislators, educators, and many others. Society needs to understand that there is no such thing as ‘female jobs’, or ‘male jobs’. Reducing the pay gap will stimulate the economy as women will have more resources to spend which would increase the gross domestic product. So, a win-win situation for people, the economy, and society!" said Diana Madunic, Sweden's Ambassador to Hungary,

The Action Plan to close the gender pay gap in English can be downloaded from the WeAreOpen website: https://www.nyitottakvagyunk.hu/en/mind-the-gender-pay-gap

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