Message by Viviane Reding on the occasion of the International Women's Day
Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, addressed a message to the European citizens on the occasion of the International Women's Day on the actions taken by the EC to close the gender pay gap. The EC had adopted a Recommendation asking Member States to improve pay transparency for women and men in a bid to help close the gender pay gap. The pay gap – the average difference between women and men’s hourly earnings across the entire economy – had barely moved in last years and was stagnating at 16.4% across the European Union. Greater transparency in pay was an important part of tackling the pay gap, because it could reveal gender bias and discrimination in the pay structures of an organisation. This enabled employees, employers and social partners to take appropriate action to ensure effective implementation of the equal pay principle. The Commission was recommending that Member States improved wage transparency through a ‘toolbox’ of measures, including allowing employees to request information on pay, reporting by companies, pay audits for large firms and including equal pay in collective bargaining. Member States would need to report back to the Commission on what action they had taken to implement the recommendations by the end of 2015.