Why men earn more than women

Gender inequality is a very relevant topic of our times, which manifests itself in many spheres of life. Questions of gender also did not bypass such an important area as work. Currently, women are restricted in terms of employment, salary, their positions etc. Conducted analyses show that the level of employment among women and their salaries are lower than among men. According to the statistics, men receive 20% more money than women, – not only in Russia, but also in many European countries and America.

This is related to historical reasons: the massive presence of women on the labour market started only a few decades ago. Until then, the only breadwinner of the family was the man. Even though the situation is now changing, gender stereotypes are still strong in society and impact the relation between employers and women.

In Russia and Belarus, there is a practice that prohibits women from working in certain types of jobs. These rules were adopted during Soviet types out of “concerns” for women’s health. Women are not left with a choice. But what if a woman is not married and does not plan to have children?

The main reasons for persisting gender inequalities at the workplace, it seems, are the prevailing stereotypes and traditional ideas about the distribution of gender roles in society.

Firstly, even if men and women take on the same positions, men often receive a higher salary than women. There is a widespread stereotype that the man is the breadwinner and should earn more than a woman. Unfortunately, in Russia almost the entire burden associated with domestic work and childcare falls on the shoulders of women. Few men agree to share most of these responsibilities, so the woman becomes captive to the stereotype of a housewife, looking after the home.

Second point: different positions on the career ladder. Women are confronted with the effect of a “glass ceiling”: once they reach a certain career point, they are not given the opportunity to rise higher. There is an invisible barrier: for top positions, only men are chosen. Looking at the top management of large companies we see mainly men, while their deputies are women. There is a stereotype that women do worse as leaders. Also, the company may think that a young woman who could occupy a high position in the near future will want to have children and will go on maternity leave. Children in society are considered a priori a woman’s responsibility.
Larisa Chuguevskaya, head of the advertising and PR department of Penny Lane Personnel, expressed her opinion on this issue: “Indeed, gender affects the salary. Business presupposes tough rules of the game that not every person, especially a woman, can fit into. The reasons lie in the social order, the philosophy of consumption, the national mentality, and the essence of a woman as a keeper of the home”.

Finally, going beyond stereotypes, there is such a thing as “impostor syndrome”. Much literature has been written about this syndrome. It describes that women are less confident in their abilities and professionalism at work, it seems to them that they are not good enough, that they will not be hired for a good position and it is better for them to agree to a lower salary. And even now, many famous and successful women admit that they still suffer from it.

Photograph taken by our external collaborator Mirtina.