The wage gap as a multidimensional phenomenon. Analysis of institutional, organizational and cultural barriers. Proposals of intervention – BRIDGES

The wage gap (WG) is one of the most visible expressions of gender inequality in the labour market, having a direct impact on women’s work and living conditions, hence its relevance on the public and academic agendas. The reduction of the WG is a European employment target, linked to the goal of equality of opportunities and female economic independence. In terms of work and employment conditions, the WG is indicative of gender-differentiated employment situations and professional trajectories. Moreover, it is related to the perceptions and values regarding female employment, as well as to their recognition in professional terms. Beyond the limits of the labour market, the WG illustrates the link between labour market participation and domestic and family responsibilities weighing mainly on adult women. From the point of view of living conditions, the effects of the wage gap are clear, both in terms of present resources allowing the fulfilment of basic daily needs, as in terms of future access to retirement benefits.
In this context, policies aimed at the reduction of the reduction of the WG have had little success. What are the reasons? What are the barriers to the viability and effectiveness of such policies? Are there sector and company environments that favour wage inequalities to a greater or lesser degree? What is the role of perceptions and imaginaries regarding female employment? How can these potential barriers be faced? These are the main questions set out by the project. In order to answer them, our approach focuses on the analysis of sectors and companies, paying special attention to institutional, organizational and cultural or symbolic factors, which may either encourage or contribute to minimize the WG. Under this framework, the project pursues a double goal. On the one hand, it aims to shed some light on the WG, looking into aspects of the phenomenon that have so far received little attention. On the other, it aims to provide ideas and tools that help eradicate this form of gender inequality. In this sense, the participation of social partners and institutions concerned by this issue constitutes a key dimension of the project. To this end, the creation of an Advisory Board is envisaged, formed both by experts and representatives of institutions and organizations directly involved in the problematic. Besides its contribution to the dissemination and applicability of the results, such Advisory board constitutes a guarantee of external participation, throughout the research process.

Start date: 15/02/2016
Finish date: 14/02/2018
Financing: Programme RECERCAIXA-ACUP
Grant reference: 2015ACUP0179
Responsable researcher: Pilar Carrasquer
Team: Núria Sánchez Mira, Martí López Andreu, Albert Trinidad Jiménez, Carolina Recio

Related website:


Sánchez-Mira, Núria; Serrano Olivares, Raquel & Carrasquer Oto, Pilar (2021). A matter of fragmentation? Challenges for collective bargaining and employment conditions in the Spanish long-term care sector. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research27(3), 319–335.

Sánchez-Mira, Núria; Serrano Olivares, Raquel; Carrasquer Oto, Pilar (2020). «What slips through the cracks: The distance between regulations and practices shaping the gender pay gap». Economic and Industrial Democracy.

Sánchez Mira, Núria; Serrano Olivares, Raquel; Carrasquer, Pilar (2020). «Sectoral dynamics of the gender pay gap : an interdisciplinary approach». QUIT Working paper series, n. 25.

Serrano Olivares, Raquel; Carrasquer, Pilar; Sánchez Mira, Núria (2019). «El papel de la regulación convencional en la caracterización sectorialmente específica de la brecha salarial de género». Anuario IET de trabajo y relaciones laborales, Vol. 6, p. 37-64.

Sánchez-Mira, Núria (2017). «La bretxa salarial de gènere en dades». Eines per a l’esquerra nacional, [en línia], 2017, Núm. 28, p. 68-78,

Carrasquer Oto, Pilar; Sánchez Mira, Núria; López Andreu, Martí (2017). «La intervención sobre la brecha salarial entre hombres y mujeres. Análisis de barreras institucionales, organizacionales y culturales». A M.R. Herrera-Gutierrez i G. Jaraiz Arroyo  (Coord) PACTAR EL FUTURO: Debates para un nuevo consenso en torno al Bienestar’ Actas del VI Congreso de REPS. Sevilla, 16 y 17 de febrero de 2016.

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