It’s 2019 and the Gender Pay Gap is still here. This year, the difference between men and women’s salaries when fully employed is 15,6 percent.
Why is Equal Pay Day on the 26th of February? Because 57 days have passed since the 1st of January, which corresponds to the 15,6 percent average gender pay gap. In other words, women have to work that long to catch up with the average male income. Calculated based on data by Statistik Austria, it can also be seen symbolically as women working until 26th of February unpaid, to earn the same amount of money as men until the end of the year.
An initiative by Business & Professional Women Austria, an association working for equality and seeking to close gender pay gap, this year is the 10th anniversary of Equal Pay Day; since 2009, it has shifted from the 14th of April to 26th of February, indicating that the problem is improving. Austria has indeed come a long way in terms of Gender Pay Gap, but there is still room for improvement. We hope that this event will be held on January 1st someday. For comparison, this year’s Equal Pay Day in the US is on April 2nd.
The symbol for the Equal Pay Day is a red bag, which symboliszs the “red numbers” in women’s wallets; if you would like to support this movement, there is an event planned on February 26 where you can fashion your own Equal Pay Day Support Ribbon. If you can’t make it, here is a DIY video on how to make your own ribbon at home.