Countering discrimination against women on the labor market
human rights
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-02-2021 - 31-03-2023
Project cost:
75 000,00 EUR
75 000,00 EUR
Types of activities:
social actions and campaigns, advocacy activities, training of professional groups
Target groups:
professionals, women

The project addresses the problem of the gender pay gap, inequalities in the labour market and the difficult economic situation of women after the pandemic. Women’s labour force participation in Poland was already low during the good times. According to the IBS report, due to the 500+ programme, there has additionally been a mass exodus of women from the labour market. For 20 years, the average gender wage gap in Poland has remained at 19%. The wage gap is particularly visible in the private sector and in flexible remuneration components such as bonuses and awards. The UN and OECD have pointed out that it is primarily women who have borne the cost of the post-pandemic economic crisis. They are the ones who are more likely to work in industries hit hard by the recession (catering, hospitality, retail), in low-level jobs and often on so-called ‘junk’ contracts or self-employment. Due to cultural factors (e.g. the stereotype of men supporting the family), women are often the first to be qualified for redundancy and/or pay cuts. In addition, remote education has exacerbated existing inequalities in the distribution of domestic responsibilities. As a result, women faced risks such as job loss, income reduction or a significant increase in unpaid care work.

The Project Promoter undertook various complementary activities. An extensive advocacy campaign was carried out on a bill to address the wage gap. These activities focused on the Project Promoter’s 2020 bill proposal. An agreement was signed in favour of the project to close the wage gap by the social partners. An educational campaign entitled ‘Wage gap knowledge injection’ was also conducted. A number of debates and discussions were also held, and information and educational materials were created to raise awareness of inequalities for women in the labour market. The Project Promoter organised 6 conferences in the regions in cooperation with the network of regional plenipotentiaries – in cities such as Skarżysko Kamienna, Pyskowice, Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Pyrzyce, Kielce, during the 14th Congress of Women in Poznań. The Project Promoter also cooperated with companies for which it conducted 6 workshops on equal pay policies for a total of 75 people. Using the good practices of Polish enterprises, a guide for companies on what to do to take care of wage and employment equality has been developed. A (self-)evaluation questionnaire was created for companies, through which they can identify areas for work in the context of gender equality. Finally, based on nationwide quantitative data and qualitative interviews with representatives of HR departments, the Project Promoter prepared a report entitled ‘Women, the labour market and wage equality’. The report presents a broad and accurate diagnosis of the situation of women on the labour market and is a source of recommendations for various social actors – from political to NGOs. The Project Promoter implemented the project with substantive support from its partner, the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association.

The project succeeded in carrying out a diagnosis of inequalities in the labour market in a post-pandemic economic crisis. A practical tool has been prepared – recommendations on tackling the wage gap, which provide a complete set of solutions and directions for gender equality in the workplace. Education and advocacy activities influenced greater public and political support for the project. The bill was successfully referred to parliament. More than 70 people were trained in cooperation with companies, which definitely contributed to raising awareness and reducing inequalities in companies. Equally high quality information and education materials were produced, which will enable other companies to achieve increasingly better results in the field of pay equality.

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