The gender pay gap is symptomatic of many factors, including discrimination. Women are more likely than men to work in low-quality jobs under vulnerable conditions, including low pay. Women who avail of maternity and parental leave and take time off work to care for children can experience long-term negative impacts on their careers and pay. These adverse effects also carry over into retirement: compared to men, women have both lower pension coverage and lower pension benefits, due to lower earnings and intermittent career paths. The combination of these factors means that women are often more vulnerable to poverty than men, even when factors such as background, education and experience are taken into account.

Recent years have seen a sharp rise in non-standard forms of employment, such as part-time and temporary employment. While non-standard work arrangements can create more employment opportunities, they are also associated with greater income insecurity, lower earnings, and limited potential for skills upgrading and career progression. Women are more likely than men to work in non-standard arrangements, particularly in part-time employment, often against their preferences.

The drivers of pay inequality are complex and so far, progress on solving the problem has been incremental. But the challenge is not insurmountable. EPIC is uniquely positioned to catalyze action on equal pay by leveraging the expertise of stakeholders around the globe, investing in tried-and-tested solutions and promoting innovative new approaches to closing the gender pay gap by 2030.