Employment and labour markets

Watch the webinar - #AskTheExpert: Gender equality – It’s not all about pay

Sre, 10/11/2021
Sre, 10/11/2021

Date: 10 November 2021 - Time: 14.00 – 15.00 GMT (15.00 – 16.00 CET)

Hot on the heels of the European Parliament’s Gender Equality week 25-29 October 2021 and to mark European Equal Pay Day on 10 November 2021, Eurofound and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) organised a joint webinar: Gender Equality – It’s not all about pay.

Watch the webinar

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Moderated by Maria Jepsen, Eurofound's Deputy Director, and drawing on the latest research findings, Martina Bisello, Research Manager at Eurofound, and Blandine Mollard, Researcher at EIGE, examined the root causes of the EU’s gender pay gap. Together with Frances Fitzgerald, Member of the European Parliament, they explored the importance of pay transparency and addressed critical questions such as:

  • Why does the gender pay gap continue?
  • Which aspects of gender segregation in employment persist in the EU?
  • How can we address gender differences at work and at home?
  • What are the patterns of convergence in gender equality?
  • What do we see emerging from EIGE’s latest Gender Equality Index?


The COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on gender equality in a number of areas with women’s mental well-being and work-life balance more negatively affected than men’s. In addition, the gender pay gap persists in the EU with women’s earnings lagging behind men’s. A higher percentage of minimum wage earners among female employees (8.7%) than among male employees (5%). In almost every EU country, more than half of minimum wage earners are women.


Webinar speaker image: Maria Jepsen

Moderator: Maria Jepsen, Eurofound

Maria Jepsen is Eurofound’s Deputy Director, appointed on 1 November 2019. Prior to this, she was Director of the research department at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), and assistant professor and research fellow at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). She is currently also associate professor in labour economics at ULB and external lecturer at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL). Her main research interests include gender studies, the impact of welfare states on labour supply, wages and working conditions, and more recently the development of the European social dimension. Ms Jepsen has been a member of various committees, councils and advisory boards at national and international level on employment, social, gender and research issues. She has also served as a coordinator on the European Commission tripartite advisory committee on health and safety at work. She holds a PhD in Economics and a Master’s degree in Econometrics from the Free University of Brussels (ULB).

Webinar speaker image: Frances Fitzgerald

Speaker: Frances Fitzgerald, Member of the European Parliament

Frances Fitzgerald is an Irish MEP from Dublin. A parliamentarian for over 20 years, she served as Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) from 2016-17, one of only four women to have ever held this position. She has also served as Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation (2017); Minister for Justice & Equality (2014-17) and was the State’s first Minister for Children & Youth Affairs (2011-14). Prior to her election to the Dáil (Irish Parliament), Frances served as Chair of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (1988-92) and Vice President of the European Women’s Lobby. Frances was elected to the European Parliament in 2019. She is a full member of the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and a substitute member of the Development Committee (DEVE) and the Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE). Frances was elected Vice Chair of the EPP Group in March 2021, and EPP Coordinator of the FEMM Committee in July 2019.

Today’s webinar has hammered home more than ever that gender inequalities, such as the gender pay gap - where a woman earns 86 cent for every euro a man earns - continues to be unacceptable, even more so in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Frances Fitzgerald MEP

Webinar speaker image: Martina Bisello

Speaker: Martina Bisello, Eurofound

​Martina Bisello is a research manager in the Employment unit at Eurofound. Her research interests include gender gaps in the labour market, occupational change and the impact of technology on work. Prior to joining Eurofound in 2014, she was visiting researcher at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation at the University of Bristol and at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex. She holds an MSc in International Economics from the University of Padova and a PhD in Economics (Doctor Europaeus mention) from the University of Pisa.

The story of women in the labour market is a story of success in the last decade, but it is incomplete and fragile - the COVID-19 crisis shows us that. We have challenges to deal with, we need a comprehensive set of measures to tackle the root causes of gender inequality on the labour market.

— Martina Bisello, Eurofound

Webinar speaker image: Blandine Mollard

Speaker: Blandine Mollard, EIGE

Blandine Mollard works as a researcher in the Research and Indices Team of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in Vilnius. She recently coordinated the 2021 edition of the Gender Equality Index with a thematic focus on health. One of the co-authors of the 2020, 2019 and 2017 editions of the Gender Equality Index, she also coordinated EU-wide research on unpaid care work, youth and digitalisation and violence against women. Before joining EIGE in 2016, she worked on Research and Statistics on gender issues in the Pacific Island Region for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and in the Gender Coordination Unit of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva.

The gender pay gap, as useful as it is, should not be looked at in isolation. We also need to look at gender gaps in earnings and the pension gap. These three indicators together give us a fuller picture, in all its complexity.

— Blandine Mollard, EIGE

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