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Dissertation on the gender pay gap in The Netherlands and Norway

does the pay gap exist and how can it be closed?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Dissertation on the gender pay gap in The Netherlands and Norway

does the pay gap exist and how can it be closed?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

The ‘pay gap’ is a relatively new term. However, it is a problem that was developed around the beginning of the 20th century, the moment when women were allowed to hold a paid occupation in the Netherlands and Norway. The pay gap, often confused with unequal pay for the same work, is actually a complex problem which includes unequal pay, restrictions from promotion, a glass ceiling, a ‘boys club’, undervalued work, social and biological factors, wrongful anticipations, a set of negative stereotypes, forced gender specific roles, dependence and plain sex discrimination.
The purpose of this dissertation is to magnify the issue to further explain the situation and its effects. It is to set achievable measures, which are easily implemented by governments and public and private sectors. The goal of this dissertation is to create a problem-solving formula that ends inequality for women on the work floor and general social development. The report attacks the pay gap's causes and symptoms based on an in-depth research of the origin and complexity of the problem, by recognizing and understanding the problem of the pay gap in both countries. Its aim is to create an understanding of the severity of the problem, while creating solutions that are reasonable and achievable.
The results of this report show an hourly pay gap of 13,59% in Norway and 18,6% in the Netherlands. Reflecting on the average annual income, a woman in Norway makes 66,19% of a man’s average salary and in the Netherlands this percentage is 41,24% (including part-time workers). Even though this specific difference is mainly explainable due to the high number of part-time workers, it does reflect the dependence that women have on men. The main reason for the pay gap is motherhood; the anticipation of a woman having a child gives employers the excuse to pay less. Motherhood also sometimes forces a woman to work part-time. The general idea that women ‘should be taken care of’ indirectly removes a woman's ability to fight for the top and at the same time encourages men to reach for and own the top. The glass ceiling and a ‘boys club-network’ prevents women from achieving top positions. It is a ceiling created by men preferring to work with a person that they can relate to. This decreases the chances of promotion, power and influence. The undervaluation of women's work in general and especially female-dominated (harder) professions (i.e. teachers, nurses. etc.) sustains the cement the problem is built on. The negative stereotypes and double standards such as the term 'bossy', another name for a proper female boss, work contradictory and exclude women from social networks. These stereotypes find their origin in gender specific roles of a father being the ‘breadwinner’ and a ‘fighter’, and a woman being the ‘house manager’ and ‘compromiser’, implanted from childhood by old-fashion examples, toys, social standards and lack of proper education.
To solve the situation, or at least reduce the gap, society should be taught to recognize inequality, starting from the division of tasks in the household to exclusion of the ‘boys club.’ Society should realise that women can and should stand on their own two feet, that they are capable of making decisions and that they might be the right candidates for the job. Ultimately, the issue should be solved by the governments and the European Union. Even though Norway has a head start with a 40% female representation act, equal parental leave and several successful campaigns it still faces a big pay gap. The Netherlands is still trying to cope with the situation, but lacks in laws and actual sanctions, despite their efforts. Unless both countries step up their game and force companies to recognize the value of a woman, educate the population and most of all understand its benefits (besides the justice of equality), this problem will not solve itself.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingMO Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2016
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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