The topic of pay equity for men and women resonates not only in the commercial realm but also in the public sphere. The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR), a major provider of research support — for which the issue of fair remuneration is part of the systematic removal of barriers in the field of research, development, and innovation — also intensively focuses on this issue. The 22% TOWARDS EQUALITY project has long been cooperating with this agency in the use of the unique analytical tool Logib which reveals inequalities in remuneration and thus helps to balance the conditions in this area.
„The existing culture and organisational set-up of support seekers does not always create an environment for equal opportunities for women and men. The consequence is that this working environment is not yet able to attract and retain enough women in the longer term,“ says Táňa Hálová Perglová, Director of the Cross-Cutting and International Activities Section of the TA CR. She adds that the reasons for the lower level of involvement of women in research activities must be sought in the setting of conditions for reconciling their work and private life, the persistent bias against women’s abilities, the ways new employees are recruited, the setting of conditions for career growth, and last but not least, unequal remuneration.
„TA CR supports research from public resources, i.e. from all of us – men and women. Also, supported research and innovation impacts everyone. It is therefore important to be able to reflect the gender dimension in research and innovations and to strive to ensure that research and innovation equally improve the quality of life of men and women,“ says Martin Bunček, the agency’s director. The agency therefore promotes gender diversity not only in research teams and in the content of research and innovation but also in public competitions. This means that in the evaluation of some public competitions, it favours applicants for funding for which gender pay equity is an obvious part of the given organisation’s policy. It is also helped by the Logib tool used in Switzerland which has been adapted to our conditions in the 22% TOWARDS EQUALITY project and is being further developed to be fit into the Czech environment. Gender equality, to which the agency subscribes, also includes a balanced representation of women and men among the evaluators of projects applying for grant support.
“TA CR supports research from public resources, i.e. from all of us – men and women. It is therefore important to be able to reflect the gender dimension in research and innovations and to strive to ensure that research and innovation equally improve the quality of life of men and women.”
Martin Bunček, Director of TA CR
TA CR gives preference to fair employers
In 2019, TA CR successfully piloted the Logib tool in a public competition in the ZÉTA Programme and introduced preferential treatment of employers who, using this tool, have completed the analysis of the compensation they provide to women and men, among other things. In the following year, TA CR then proceeded to do the same in the ÉTA Programme. „We have developed a unique cooperation with the TA CR, which has made a significant contribution to opening up the issue of equal pay for women and men at a number of universities and research institutes, where the topic would otherwise proceed in a more difficult way due to the specific situation in terms of remuneration in research,“ emphasises Lenka Simerská, the main manager of the 22% TOWARDS EQUALITY team. Employers that have undergone this analysis of remuneration include Mendel University in Brno, the University of Hradec Králové, the Institute of Botany, the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the CAS, the Institute of Archaeology of the CAS in Brno, the Institute of Experimental Botany and the Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation.
TA CR is leading by example
TA CR did not hesitate to look within its own ranks and had its own analysis of employee remuneration prepared by the expert team of the 22% TOWARDS EQUALITY. And it can boast a great result: using the Logib tool, an adjusted, so-called “gender pay gap” of 4.2% was found, which is not statistically significant. This means that no systematic gender pay gap has been identified in TA CR. Some gender pay gaps do exist in the TA CR, but only between a few individuals. Like other entities that have been analysed using the Logib tool, TA CR received a certificate confirming the outcome of the analysis.
Development of a new tool
Thanks to the cooperation with TA CR, the Logib tool has been further developed. At the agency’s initiative, a new tool was developed within the 22% TOWARDS EQUALITY project which calculates the financial cost to employers of gradually closing the gender pay gap. The advantage of this complementary tool is that it allows the modelling of different scenarios in the gradual closing of the gender pay gap.
Small employers will also receive preferential treatment
The management of TA CR is very supportive of the analyses using Logib and plans further steps to promote equal pay for women and men. Over the next year, it plans to give preferential treatment to employers who choose to do analysis using Logib in public tenders for selected programmes. “Activities for making opportunities for men and women in research equal should be an integral part of the policy of support providers,” believes Kamila Vávrová, Vice Chairman of TA CR. The 22% TOWARDS EQUALITY project also plans to transfer a variant of the Logib tool for entities with fewer than 50 employees to the Czech environment in 2022, so that in the future, small employers can also receive preferential treatment for improving working conditions and gender equality. “In this way, we want to make the gender pay analysis available to the widest possible range of employers in the Czech Republic because without it, it is difficult for them to find out where any inequalities in remuneration arise and how to gradually make them even,” adds Dita Jahodová, the expert guarantor of the 22% TOWARDS EQUALITY project.