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Study predicts the Swedish women poised to close gender pay gap first

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Study predicts the Swedish women poised to close gender pay gap first
The study examined the gender pay gap in EU nations. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
17:05 CET+01:00
A new study of European Union data has predicted which Swedish women will close the country's gender pay gap first, with those aged under 25 and working part-time in the public sector as a skilled manual worker the demographic said to be best positioned.

British tech website Expert Market used data from both Eurostat and the OECD covering the years 2007-2014 in order to examine gender pay gap trends across five economic markers: full-time v part-time employment, public sector v private sector employment, age, industry and job type.

Using the year-on-year trend in the gender pay gap they then predicted the quickest pay gap closure date for each economic marker.

Once that earliest pay gap closure date for each marker was established, they were able to calculate a “best case scenario” for the women who fall into as many of the categories as possible.

On that basis, the demographic on the fastest track to equal pay in Sweden is women aged under 25 employed part-time in public administration as a skilled manual worker, with the gap predicted to close for that specific group by 2025 at the earliest.

Expert Marketer researcher Tom Watts told The Local that Sweden's recent introduction of a national gender equality authority could be particularly important in helping to close the gap for those working in the country's public sector.

“I would say that is a strong unifying move and one that should help to smooth Sweden's path to pay parity, particularly in public administration," Watts noted.

Watts also highlighted Swedish gender equality initiatives in industries involving skilled manual labour, with Expert Market's study showing that the gender pay gap for skilled manual workers in Sweden is closing at the fastest rate for that industry across the EU.

“Sweden is well known for its skilled manual labour market like forestry for example, and I understand that gender equality is a burgeoning topic in this industry,” Watts explained.

“The Swedish Government even launched a national gender equality strategy for the forestry industry in recent years, which targets female entrepreneurs and encourages equal opportunities in running and owning their own forests in what was seen as a traditionally top-down, male dominated industry.”

Sweden launched its new government agency dedicated to achieving a gender equal society last September, with unequal pay one of the issues it is tasked with addressing.

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