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Closing the gender pay gap 2018: Focusing on pensions


01 Mar 2018


Social Europe & Jobs

PES Women launches its 2018 Gender Pay Gap campaign today (28 February), on European Equal Pay Day.

Equal Pay Day is the day each year in spring until which women would have to work to earn the same as their male colleagues in the previous year.

This year's focus is on the pension gap. The gap between the amounts women and men receive when they retire is 39%.

The campaign launch event in Brussels today brings together representatives from women's rights organisations, trade union representatives, members of national parliaments and MEPs.

At the event, guests will see the premiere of the campaign’s headline movie. Created by the agency Mortierbrigade in partnership with the sp.a women’s organisation zij-kant, the TVC highlights the problem of the pension pay gap in a funny and thought-provoking way.

Discussion after the screening will focus on concrete proposals for closing the pension gap and gender pay gap, such as the Icelandic model.

Zita Gurmai, president of PES Women, said:

"Although the European Commission presented a roadmap on closing the gender pay gap last year, we still need concrete action from the EU and its member states to combat unequal pay. Women still receive much less than men, especially after retirement.

"With regard to salaries, the gender pay gap is 16%, but for pensions it is higher than 39%. This leads not only to more inequality, but also to more poverty among women. In 2018 this is unacceptable.

"That's why PES Women insists that the pay gap should be reduced by 2% per year per EU member state, and we demand constant monitoring of this through a Pay Gap Audit at European level."

PES Women promotes best practice by countries like Belgium and Iceland in reducing the pay gap, and facilitates the exchange of views and information on the issue among its member parties, ministerial meetings and networks. The 2018 equal pay campaign is the latest effort in the fight for equal pay and social protections for women of all ages.

PES Women, Zij-Kant and Mortierbrigade have worked together on pay gap campaigns for three years in a row. Previous campaigns (‘Start sooner for an equal pay later’ in 2017; ‘Pay me like a man’ in 2016) caught the eye of the public as well as stakeholders.

The creative directors of the campaign this year are Jens Mortier, Joost Berends and Philippe De Ceuster from Mortierbrigade. The movie is directed by Joe Vanhoutteghem, the director of photography is Grimm Vandekerckhove and the production company is the acclaimed Tzar of Belgium.

Cast and Credits TVC:

  • Creative Agency: Mortierbrigade
  • Creative Directors: Jens Mortier, Joost Berends, Philippe De Ceuster
  • Creatives: Geoffrey Masse, Nicolas Mouquet
  • Head of production: Charlotte Coddens
  • Strategy: Dorien Mathijssen
  • PR Manager: Anne-Cecile Collignon
  • Production company:
  • Director: Joe Vanhoutteghem
  • Executive Producer: Eurydice Gysel
  • Producer : Lander Engels
  • DOP: Grimm Vandekerckhove
  • Post-production: Czar
  • Editor: Nico Leunen
  • Online Editor : Robin De Praetere
  • Music: « My Baby » performed by Kid Francescoli With Julia

(Mathieu Hocine / Julia Minkin)

(p) 2014 Kid Francescoli, Publishing Alter K


Speakers at the campaign launch:

  • Zita Gurmai, PES Women President
  • Inga Verhaert, Zij-Kant President
  • Barbara Helfferich, Gender Equality Policy for European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), Member Organisation of ETUC
  • Jos Bertrand, President of the European Senior Organisation of the PES
  • Tuulia Pitkänen, Secretary General of the Young European Socialists
  • Jenný Heiða, Vice-President of the Women’s Organisation of the Social Democratic Alliance, Iceland
  • Maria Noichl MEP


Notes for editors

  • All 28 EU member states are represented by their progressive parties at the PES, which brings together 34 socialist, social democratic, labour and democratic parties as full members. Together with 13 associate parties and 12 observer parties from outside the EU, we fight for a better and more progressive Europe.
  • The current president of the PES is Sergei Stanishev.
  • The Socialists & Democrats Group is the parliamentary group of the PES.

Media images

  • Free-to-use, media-quality photographs are available on the PES Media Centre: For images of people quoted in this press release, see:

Zita Gurmai