The grand image and the little one – mapping salaries

The grand image and the little one – mapping salaries

In every country around the world, there is a wage gap between women and men. It is more obvious on a societal level, where the labor market is divided both vertically -men are overrepresented on higher and better payed positions in al sectors-, and horizontally -women and men are found in different sectors, where women dominated sectors have lower incomes.

Sometimes we hear voices stating that the explained gap is not very interesting from a feminist perspective. Women choose lower income jobs and they don’t build a career, so the pay gap has a ‘natural’ explanation. The same way of thinking is of course also applicable within an organization: if the reason women in general are earning less is because they are overrepresented in the cleaning staff and underrepresented in the leading positions, we are all fine, right?

Not really.

First of all: why are women dominated professions in general have lower incomes than men dominated work? And this is regardless of the importance of the job or the responsibility carried.
Secondly: why are women choosing differently from men? They both choose different professions in their youth, but many women ‘choose’ not to develop a career for some reason.

And third: if we look at the consequences of the gap, they are the same regardless of the causes. Women keep being economically vulnerable and depending on men, no matter WHY they are payed less. And this vulnerability accentuates with time, when salaries are turned into pensions.

This shows the importance of eliminating wage differences on all levels. Yes, the tools usually presented and the legal demands are usually about mapping and evaluating professions. And this is very important, tracking down pure discrimination in the organization. But equally important is to look at the big picture and relate it to society as a whole.

An equality problem is not about what we do and how, but about the consequences of our actions. And equality work is not about making sure you fill the law requirements. It’s about working for equal power and opportunities regardless of sex and gender. Don’t ever forget about that!

Christina Ahlzen, Medida

Defining the equal organization

Defining the equal organization

To know what equality means in your organization, you can start by drawing a picture on what an equal organization would look like. This picture can be seen as tool that will help you creating visions and define what equality could mean in your particular context. Without visions and goals there is a challenge to measure how close or far away we are from what we what to achieve in equality.

Equality travelling in Eastern Africa

Equality travelling in Eastern Africa

As for me, this afternoon was one of the most inspiring I have experienced with the Equality Journey. The process led both me and the participants to a number of new insights on how to work strategically for increased equality in society and within the organization. I will surely come back to this later on, so stay tuned to this blog!

Fake it till you make it, but not equality

Fake it till you make it, but not equality

Sometimes it is good to “pretend” you know what you are doing until this attitude becomes a reality and you feel confident enough with your knowledge and expertise but, when it comes to equality, it is actually the opposite.

How to question norms in your organization

How to question norms in your organization

The hardest thing about norms is to find them and become aware that they exist. Norms tend to be invisible until someone breaks them. To see what norms are relevant in your organization, try asking yourself these questions:

Norm criticism – what is it and why is it necessary?

Norm criticism – what is it and why is it necessary?

Norm criticism is not about being against norms. Its aim is to question them. Think about it like literature criticism. Literature criticism isn’t against literature. It analyses it. Norm criticism asks: what norms do we want? Is a particular norm necessary? What happens if webreak it? Who is it including and excluding and what are the effects?

The Equality Journey Goes to School

The Equality Journey Goes to School

We are piloting our Equality Journey tool in a new environment: schools! And it is students who are using it to analyse their schools from a gender perspective and design actions to promote equality.

Finland + Pisa-study = Gender Equality?

When the rest of the world is asking what does Finland do right due to Pisa, in Finland we continue to be very keen to discuss the “poor” boys and how to help them. There is not one solution as there are too many explanations why it looks like this. A lot of teachers in the schools also acknowledge that it is not a single question about boys and girls, but about different boys and girls being very successful or less successful in school. Factors as class, mother tongue or geographical location are more visible on the field, but they are still strongly connected with the question of gender. 

Too much information, or too little? – in gender budgeting

Gender budgeting is often used for mapping the distribution of resources in an organization. The principle is at first glance quite simple: how much money goes to which post in the budget, and how many women/men is taking part of this. 

Widening the view

Widening the view

This spring, the Equality Journey has been widening it’s horizons even more. This Spring, I (Christina) was invited first to Colombia to share my knowledge on statistics and equality analyzes. I brought, of course, the Equality Journey. Later, in a trainee program of East African ‘districts’ (municipalities in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia). 

Top Bad Reasons to Talk about Gender Equality from your Organization

Top Bad Reasons to Talk about Gender Equality from your Organization

Do you want to start doing something related to women’s equality in your organization? Sometimes good intentions can lead to bad ideas. Keep reading to make sure you don’t mess it up!

Reflections after a conference: CEMR on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Bilbao 2018)

Reflections after a conference: CEMR on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Bilbao 2018)

This week the Equality Journey’s core team: Christina, Laura and Malin-, was united at the European CEMR Conference in Bilbao, Spain. The CEMR is the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and they promote gender equality at local level through the Charter on Equality of Women and Men in Local Life. After three days, what are our general reflections?

Can a web page be gender equal?

Can a web page be gender equal?

One of our customers asked us to analyze their web page from a gender perspective. As we consider it more important and sustainable to involve and train the staff responsible for updating the web page, than to have an outsider doing the work and leaving no competence behind for future updates, we suggested two Equality Journey workshops with their web team. 

Gender Equality: easier said than done

Gender Equality: easier said than done

Yes, yes, we know gender equality is important and a matter of social justice. Actually, we believe than women are as worthy members of society as men and there should not be any discrimination against them. I totally support that and believe in equal rights and equal opportunities. And I think I treat women and men with the same respect, I don’t consider myself sexist or anything like that.  But, how can I be sure? What does it mean to promote gender equality?

Collaborate knowledge building

Collaborate knowledge building

What can you do when you want to start working with equality in your organization but aren´t quite sure where to begin? How can you  find out what are the key questions in your field? How can you know how gender equality relates to your work? You may know that the information is out there somewhere, but how do you do to collect it?

How did it all start?

How did it all start?

The Equality Journey started in Malmö, 2012. The municipality demanded equality analyses to be done annually in every separate department, and granted resources for this work to get a good start.

Equality – what is that?

Equality – what is that?

Oh, yes, it’s a matter of justice, it’s a matter of quality, it’s a matter of employment branding, using resources effectively and it can be a part of corporate responsibility. It’s quite easy to find general arguments for why equality work is important. However you also need to ask what does it or could it mean for our organization as a part of our values and practices?

Four steps for change

Four steps for change

Working with change management during the last 10 years one has been able to see a pattern of which elements are needed to ensure the possibility for change. Working particular with equality we have developed four steps for change that is always present in our work.