The pandemic has widened the gender gaps in Spain, increasing up to 2058 the period that would be needed to achieve full parity between women and men. This figure represents a negative evolution in its comparison with the data of the previous edition, which indicated that the gender gaps in Spain would close in 2055.
This is one of the main conclusions of the second edition of the ClosinGap Index presented on March 2 and prepared by PwC Spain, a reference indicator for measuring and monitoring the evolution of gender equality in Spain and its impact on GDP.
The authors of the study argue that it would take 34 years to close the gender gap in Spain without the effect of the pandemic. If 2021 is taken into account, andThe period is increased one more year and if a prolonged effect is assumed until 2023, It would take 36 years to reach parity, so the pandemic has delayed closing the gap by two years, until 2058.
Thus, understanding 100% as full parity, the index stands at 63.3%, compared to 64.1% last year Therefore, the gender gap has increased in Spain and there is still 36.7% to close (from the previous 35.9%).
The ClosinGap Index is an aggregate indicator of parity measurements in five broad categories (Employment, Education, Conciliation, Digitization and Health and Well-being) through a detailed analysis of a total of 28 key variables for the personal and professional development of a society.
In the detailed analysis it is observed that The pandemic has had a particularly negative impact on work-life balance. This situation is reflected in a greater increase in the rates of partial employment for women than for men in the context of the pandemic. Also, the study indicates that women assume more weight in housework during the confinement caused by covid than men.
These inequalities cause the parity indicator in the sphere of conciliation to stand at 40.8%, leaving a gap of 59.2% to close, which means a setback from a year ago.
“This category is a key determinant in the personal, social, professional and economic development of men and women. Conciliation is one of the aspects that has held back for many years (and continues to do so) professional and economic advancement of women, in addition to the consequent implications for health and well-being”, the director of the Strategy & Economics team, Anna Merino, in the strategic consulting area of PwC, pointed out in the presentation.
In terms of the gender gap in health and well-being, it is small, but the report recalls that it has been stagnant for years because the variables do not improve to a greater extent for women compared to men, but rather They do it very similarly. In the particular analysis of this category, a slight drop is observed that takes the indicator to 84.4%, so there is still a 15.6% gender gap to close.
The pandemic has also caused the risk of poverty or exclusion has grown slightly more for women than for men, aggravating a previously existing circumstance. The health situation that Spanish society as a whole is facing has contributed to highlighting the existence of this gap and its relevance when dealing with an extremely urgent situation such as this pandemic.
On the ground of education, there is a stagnation in the evolution of equality in Spain, with parity indicator unchanged compared to a year ago (67.9%). Although it has remained at the same level, and the ratio of women with tertiary or university education continues to be higher than that of men, the key variable in this inequality is women’s low access to STEM careers, that end up leading to jobs in industries with high added value.
While, parity in the field of digitization has increased reaching 71.4% thanks to a slight rise in women ICT specialists compared to men. However, this ratio continues to be very low based on statistics such as for every woman ICT specialist there are four men. The gender gap in digitization stands at 28.6%.
“These new data highlight the urgent need to implement measures based on harnessing female talent as a key lever for growth and economic recovery. Our society is not in a position to go back on the path in which many, like those of us who are part of ClosinGap, we are working to build a prosperous and egalitarian society,” The president of ClosinGap, Marieta Jiménez, has highlighted.
Parity in employment advances
Contrasting with the rest of the categories, the employment parity indicator has evolved from 65% to 66.1% and the gap to close has been reduced to 36.9%. This improvement is due to the increase in the participation of women in the labor market, less precarious employment, an improvement in hourly wages and a reduction in the gap in pensions that affect women as a whole.
Regarding the opportunity cost that this lack of equality entails for the economy, quantifying the economic impact of gender gaps and their incidence, directly or indirectly, on GDP through the labor market, the study indicates that, if the gender gaps in the labor market were to end, in hours worked and in the distribution of sectoral employment, Spanish GDP could increase at 213,299 million euros, the equivalent of 19% of GDP in 2020.
Likewise, this potential increase would be driven by the creation of 2.8 million female jobs full-time equivalents. Another of the conclusions of the study indicates that the reduced participation of women in the labor market, the lower number of hours worked due to partiality and their overrepresentation in less productive economic sectors causes that lWomen only contribute 41.4% of GDP, despite representing 51.4% of the working-age population.
In the productive section, historically, women have been overrepresented in less productive economic sectors. However, as an update from the previous year, the sectors where women are more present (education, health, etc.) hincreased their productivity making women find themselves at the same average level of productivity as men.
“The main conclusions drawn from this analysis could not be more conclusive: the gender parity index has worsened compared to last year due to the effect of the pandemic. social and economic impact that this circumstance entails for our economy, It is essential to promote initiatives to reverse this situation from the public and private spheres”, added Manuel Martín Espada, partner in charge of Markets at PwC Spain.
The First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, was in charge of closing the day by congratulating ClosinGap for its work and highlighting that gender equality is a necessary condition for economic and social development from any country.