Thursday, June 23, 2005

Women "don't face wage discrimination"

Swedish companies do not systematically discriminate against women when setting wage levels, according to a new survey by Svenskt Näringsliv, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. The difference between men and women's pay was generally explained by factors such as age, job, education and choice of company rather than by any automatic discrimination by employers, Svenskt Näringsliv argued. The overall average wage difference between men and women was 4.8 percent. This contrasts with the assertion made frequently in the Swedish debate that men are paid 15-20 percent more than women. But the Feminist Initiative's Anna Jutterdal said that while she was encouraged to hear that the wage differential might not be as high as previously thought, a difference of nearly five percent "is still too high". The organisation also argued that the fact that more women are studying at university, and that more of them are choosing subjects that are attractive to industry, means that the gap could narrow in the coming years. The report provided some support for the claim that jobs favoured by women tended to be less well paid.


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