Thursday, June 17

Equal pay: Women in the Public Administration earn 26% less than men despite parity in the Government

Mexico has made notable efforts in recent years to close the gender gap in the Government, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate as the first step to end the underrepresentation of women in the Federal Public Administration. The so-called Parity Legislature (the same number of legislators as legislators) and nine ministries headed by women, out of a total of 19, show the gradual change of the country towards a policy of representation where women have the same presence as men. Despite the fact that in 2020 the Administration had almost 1.6 million civil servants, of which 49.6% were women and 50.3% men, public servants in intermediate positions earn 26% less on average than their peers for doing the same job. For every 100 pesos a man earns, a woman receives 74 pesos.

The Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will leave for history one of the photographs with the most women in the Cabinet of a country, but beyond that image, women continue to be underrepresented in lower-ranking positions within the Administration, according to a report from the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO), Women in Public Administration: beyond the photo. According to the document, the figures show that despite the fact that there is parity in the heads of the secretariats of State, there is no equitable representation of women at the rest of the levels. State officials continue to earn less than their male counterparts and very few reach key management positions in decision-making within the secretariats, the Judiciary or the Army.


Although there is an income tabulator, which limits the existence of income differences in the same position, there are several levels in each position that translate into salary disparity between men and women. And this trend is maintained in all government ministries, even in agencies led by a woman. The Army is the worst institution in this matter, here the salary gap shoots up to 38% and there is only one woman for every 16 men.

According to the document, beyond proportionality, it is necessary to solve the problem of wage inequality and decision-making within the institutions so that the changes have an impact on more egalitarian, inclusive policies that improve the economic life of half of the population more disadvantaged. This paradigm shift requires the presence of women in command positions, not only in lower-ranking or higher-ranking jobs at the head of secretariats. “To the extent that women are concentrated in lower-level positions, their income will be lower and, therefore, the wage gap will remain, especially in command positions,” they point out in the document.

From the IMCO they emphasize the importance of integrating more women into the labor market, since, currently, there are no equitable conditions to enter, stay and grow in the economy. More than half of the jobs destroyed during the pandemic were held by a woman, which reduced the female economic participation rate by 41%, to 2005 levels, which represents a setback of 15 years.

The report points out that increasing the participation of women in all hierarchical levels of the federal government does not only mean increasing the average salary of women and closing the wage gap. Having a greater presence of women among the higher levels is related to government decisions that “could be more inclusive, take into account the needs of the population and seek to retain female talent, diversity of ideas and add more women to the economy ”, they point out from IMCO.

The study also highlights the type of portfolios that women occupy within governments. According to Maria Escobar and Michelle Taylor-Robinson, who have carried out several regional analyzes in Latin America, the ministers or secretaries of State usually occupy portfolios called soft or low-profile, related to sociocultural issues that have historically been linked to the internal or private sphere. as well as women as a group. These are the themes of family, culture, science and technology, tourism and gender equality.

“In Mexico, the agencies with the highest representation of public servants are those focused on gender and human rights issues, as well as health and education institutions, such as the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women, the National Institute of Perinatology and Women. Soft topics with less visibility that are traditionally worked on, promoted and led by women ”, the document points out.

On the contrary, the agencies with a lower percentage of women are those that specialize in the industrial sector, productive state companies, such as the case of Pemex and the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena). The Institute points out that despite attempts to achieve parity, there is still a sexist division of women’s roles within governments and a wage inequality that puts barriers to the emancipation of women.

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