The communication operation has established itself as an annual event. Starting this Monday, November 6, at precisely 11:25 a.m. and 19 seconds, “women start working for free.” The formula has hit home since the feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses developed it in 2015 with the aim of warning about salary inequalities between women and men. “The observation for the year 2023 is clear: the salary gap between women and men is 15.4% according to Eurostat, the statistics body of the European Union,” indicate Les Glorieuses in a press release. .
The date and time are obtained by relating this European salary gap of 15.4% to the number of working days during the year 2023 in France. “This calculation therefore allows us to say that in 2023, women could stop working on November 6 at 11:25 a.m. if they were paid with an average hourly rate similar to men while earning what they earn today ( always on average) throughout the year,” we can read in the press release.
This calculation, however, is open to criticism. “It’s an average, of course and it’s a symbol, of course,” recognize Les Glorieuses in this regard. For example, Eurostat figures only take into account the salaries of companies with 10 or more employees, unlike INSEE, the French statistical agency, whose data was not included.
The comparison of the Glorieuses also concerns all men and all women. Inequalities are reduced if we focus on the differences in pay between women and men for equal positions and working hours.
According to INSEE figures, in 2017, the gap in full-time equivalent between women and men for the same position was 5.3% in the private sector. “This is the best approach to estimate salary inequalities only and purely and not to be biased by working time and the professions carried out by men and women”, affirmed in Le Figaro last year the head of the wages and earned income division within INSEE.