Women’s earnings are still lagging behind men – research shows a big difference in income

Also, women’s rush in their work in Finland is among the top in the EU.

work in Finland is among the top in the EU

The income gap between women and men is still large. According to a research project funded by the Occupational Safety and Health Fund, men with a degree in science and technology earned up to € 90,000 more in eleven years of follow-up than women with similar degrees.

Finnish women are also affected by the rush of work. In comparing Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, Finland ranks at the top with Greece when looking at the rush of women at work.

Are careers fragmented? The project examined women’s and men’s income development with degrees in science, technology, mathematics, and forestry born in 1960, 1965, 1970, or 1975. The result was that the gender income gap widened to € 7,000-10,000 per age group.

A similar income gap was also observed when looking at the income development of men and women aged 30 and over who worked in industrial sectors at 28-42.

– The most important reasons for resigning are women’s lower positions in the professional hierarchy, poorer career advancement, more extended family leave, and lower working hours than men, lists University Lecturer Satu Ojala from the University of Tampere, who led the research project.

Also, percentage increases in wages will deepen income disparities slightly over time. For forty men, property income has already more than doubled compared to women.

Steep career ladders for women

In the study, the income comparison does not directly concern the pay gap, but all the state-taxable income of women and men, Ojala says.

– Labor income accounts for by far the largest share of all state tax revenue accumulation, but income data also include income transfers such as family benefits.

Ojala points out that, for example, differences in working hours and family leave can explain income differences, but not whether such large differences between the sexes are fair.

– Differences in earned income accumulate every year of life and lead to an ever-widening income gap over the life cycle, affecting pensions.

A significant reason for the gender income gap is the placement in different jobs. To increase equality in working life, women are encouraged to train in technology.

– In other words, women should apply more often to male-dominated, better-paid sectors. When they do so, it is found that they will not be able to advance their careers any better. This study showed that the gender gap in male-dominated sectors and educational backgrounds is roughly the same as in other sectors.

The survey is based on Statistics Finland’s FOLK register data, which contains information on the labor market status and income of all working-age people living in Finland since 1988.

The rush rose to record levels.

In particular, Finnish women are also in a hurry at work, says the 2019 EU Labor Force Survey. While in the EU countries there is usually little difference between the sexes in the experience of a hurry, in Finland, the situation is different. Forty-two percent of Finnish employees say that they always work in a hurry, and 34 percent of men.

Of the 27 countries involved, female wage earners in Finland and Greece are in the most hurry. However, in Greece, most say they have avoided the rush completely; in Finland, only five percent.

In Statistics Finland’s working conditions surveys, hurry has risen to record levels for women, says specialist researcher Hanna Sutela.

– The rush is detrimental, especially in the female-dominated public sector in social and health workers. There is less rush in the male-dominated construction and industrial sectors.

The increased work pressure is known in the Finnish Association of Local and Basic Nurses, Super, which receives many contacts about the matter. In-home care, the load is downright catastrophic, says expert Sari Ilonummi.

As an example, Ilonummi cites a recent call from a home care worker. This had three hours, or 180 minutes, for home visits, but more than 200 minutes had been marked on the customer list for customer visits.

– Also, we still had to move from one customer to another. The worker had received antihypertensive medication and was on exhaustion leave. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, there should be no such intense work pressures.

Coping with trial

In the wake of the rush, mental symptoms and coping problems also increase, especially in women. According to the Working Conditions Survey, in 2018, half as many female employees and almost as many experienced fatigue and inactivity. Nearly a quarter experienced reluctance to leave for work.

Deep professional segregation underlies the different experiences of the sexes. However, in neighboring Sweden, working life segregation is strong, but the difference between women and men in experiencing haste is not as significant as in Finland. Reasons for this can be found in, for example, work culture, work organization, and the adequacy of resources.

Employee resilience is often promoted through various occupational well-being measures and by supporting healthy lifestyles. According to Sutela, they are essential but not long enough if the problems are due to work organization and lack of resources.

– Then, we should intervene in the structures and ensure that the work framework and resources, on the one hand, and the requirements, on the other, are in balance.


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