Gender Equality from an Employer Perspective

There are clear structural differences between men and women on the labour market. In order to give men and women equal opportunities in terms of career and wage development, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) thinks that active and compelling gender equality work is needed.

1. Wages

Changes in wage structures must be possible:

  • Further develop wage setting by focusing on wage structure issues.
  • Use wage setting to facilitate changes in wage relations and to be able to prioritize between groups.
  • Organise networking meetings and training on pay and equal pay.
  • Highlight the structural inequalities using statistics broken down by gender.

2. Wage Spread

The wage spread for female-dominated professions must increase:

  • Identify effective models for wage spread.
  • Work with individual and differentiated pay, which enables employees to influence their wage development throughout their working life.
  • Engage in dialogue with employees and clarify how performance affects pay.
  • Organise networking meetings and training looking at the value of wage spread in female-dominated professions.

3. Career Paths

More career paths must be created within female-dominated professions

  • Investigate what career paths are like for men and women in different professions.
  • Develop career paths in order to improve the quality of activities.
  • Organise workshops and get employees involved in concept work about making the most of their knowledge and potential career paths.
  • Take a wide-ranging approach and emphasise that there is plenty of scope for using skills besides becoming a manager, for example, switching roles or changing profession.

4. Managers

There must be gender equality at the very top:

  • Ensure an approach where competence and managerial qualities are given scope, not just experience.
  • Encourage women who would make good managers to apply for managerial positions and put them forward for roles.
  • Increase knowledge and awareness of unofficial obstacles and conditions giving men and women different access to power and influence in the workplace.

5. Choice of Career

Gender perceptions must not limit someone’s study or career choices:

  • Heightened awareness and knowledge about how gender norms can limit the professional activities of men and women.
  • Market and refine the image of working in welfare. Reflect diversity among employees and illustrate the breadth of content of professions, for example, in job adverts, at fairs, on your website or in other sources of information.
  • Create more opportunities for young people to develop knowledge and experience of welfare work, as well as those who need to change career. BAL is a useful tool in this work.
  • Plant an idea with young people by promoting the 90 000 or so holiday jobs that municipalities, county councils and regions offer each year. Ensure that girls and boys get work experience that challenges gender norms.
  • How you view and treat employees should be based on their skills. Ensure that men who are in the minority in female-dominated workplaces are able to demonstrate their professional knowledge and are not reduced to male role models.

6. Working Hours

Full-time must be the norm:

  • Encourage people in full-time employment to actually work full-time.
  • Follow up on the reasons for part-time work and encourage full-time work during performance reviews.
  • Make a clear political decision setting out what must be achieved and when it must be done.
  • Organise the work so that the workload is distributed as evenly as possible. This makes introducing a full-time organisation easier.

7. Parental Leave

Leadership is crucial to achieving equal use of parental insurance:

  • Make it clear that the organisation values employees who want to be there for their children and that it is possible to combine parenthood and employment.
  • Encourage both men and women to make use of parental insurance.
  • Secure support for the aim of gender-equal parental leave among all managers.
  • Introduce the process of managers having discussions with employees before and after parental leave.
  • Encourage managers to adopt more equal take-up of parental insurance themselves.
  • Make people aware of the consequences of unequal use of parentalinsurance and days off to care for a sick child on factors such as lifetime salary and pensions.

8. Sickness Absences

The manager has a key role to play in preventing sickness absences:

  • Prevent physical and psychosocial risks using systematic work environment management.
  • Take a preventive approach to work by promoting involvement and commitment among employees.
  • Develop strategies and methods for identifying early warning signs of ill health.
  • Look out in particular for indications of victimisation in the workplace.
  • Ensure that first-line managers receive work environment training.


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