We have certainly come a long way. Gender equality is enshrined in Europe’s constitutions, women are successful scientists, politicians and pop stars. At the same time, they still earn less than men: the average pay gap in Europe is at a staggering 16%. Women do most of the unpaid household and care work. And women face violence at home, in the world of work, in public.

Klaudia Frieben, chair of industriAll Europe’s Equal Opportunity Working Group: “We are happy that the new ILO convention C190 on Violence and Harassment gives international recognition to this topic. Fast ratification and implementation are necessary now.”

With the advance of digital technologies, we now face a whole new set of challenges, for example: 

  • biased algorithms that can decide about job recruitment, credit worthiness or health provisions 
  • machine learning that feeds on, recycles and reinforces stereotypes

The new European Commission has promised an ambitious equality strategy, starting with measures for pay transparency as one lever to achieve equal pay.

Luc Triangle, General Secretary: “IndustriAll Europe, together with the ETUC, will monitor the initiatives and actions of the Commissions very closely and call on all political actors to make a real effort for equality in every respect.” 

Our Women Workers’ campaign, part of our Together at Work campaign, highlighted how collective bargaining can solve some of the specific challenges faced by women workers. On International Women's Day, industriAll Europe pledges to keep on fighting for equality and for giving women their rightful place at the bargaining table. 

For more information please contact equal opportunities adviser Maike Niggemann. For information on our collective bargaining campaign contact Patricia Velicu