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Ni blanco ni negro. El traje de la igualdad se confecciona en tonos grises

Neither black nor white. The suit of equality is tailored in shades of grey.

On March 8th, International Women's Day, we asked men who collaborate with IA+Igual about this event. As it couldn't be otherwise, their answers sparked an interesting debate beyond the clichés of opposing ideologies and the politicization of the issue.

Madrid, March 8. We've posed a series of questions to the members of the Advisory Council and our Academic Partner, DATAI, related to gender equality in the workplace. The conclusion is that, in this field, there are as many biases as variables in the data that feed an algorithm. We'd like to express our gratitude, on behalf of the entire IA+Igual team, for delving into the world of grey areas without succumbing to some of the current clichés.

For example, quotas for women to facilitate access to senior management positions seem not to have fundamentally solved the issue of women's access to these roles. However, if this obvious statement is made by a man, he runs the risk of being considered "sexist." Nevertheless, this thesis is defended by Claudia Goldin in a study that earned her the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economics. Politically correct language has indirectly generated a new bias.
What sense does wage discrimination make in the 21st century?

In this case, the result is Black on white And José Luis Fernández's bet, a member of the Advisory Council of IA+Igual, is clear: "This basic principle of equal pay for equal work must be respected. The right to fair wages is a right of the worker, not of the man or the woman."

A few months ago, the Observatory of Equality and Employment exemplified why motherhood is one of the key factors perpetuating the wage gap. Considering that the average age for a woman to have her first child in Spain is 31.5 years, it's striking that, according to data from the Spanish Tax Agency in 2021, the wage gap reaches a difference of €13,000 from the age of 35 onwards.

"Gender discrimination is not exclusively a matter of salary; it has other components such as access to employment, professional promotion, part-time dedication to work, etc. It is very significant that, even with equal pay, women are predominantly clustered in lower salary brackets. José Luis Fernández, director of Gabinete de Estudios of USO, explains.

We appreciate him expressing something that some members of the team have experienced throughout our professional careers. "Discrimination is a waste of talent because there are more women with higher degrees than men; however, unfortunately, women are often performing tasks for which they are overqualified."It's no consolation that overqualification is becoming a problem that increasingly affects new generations equally.

Do you help me at home or do we collaborate?

We conclude with what is a core part of the solution to the problem: shared responsibility, a topic filled with clichés from both radical feminism and more conservative viewpoints. Fernández emphasizes the need for policies that implement reconciliation and shared responsibility so that being a mother does not mean a break in one's professional career.

Javier Moscoso, also a member of the Advisory Council of IA+Igual, delves deeper beyond the usual clichés about this topic. "For a long time, men have not had obligations in the household sphere, but neither have they had rights to childcare. For the same reason, the supposed sexual division of labor kept us away from fatherhood, as well as all the privileges related to emotional life. Not even the massive entry of women into the workforce after World War II changed the traditional position of men, linked to the public sphere of work."

"Do you think men have assumed shared responsibility in caring for the family and the home, or do they still have the mentality of 'helping' the woman?" we asked Moscoso, a philosopher from CSIC."Fortunately, men are no longer just helping at home; gradually, we are also gaining more rights in the domestic sphere, without our masculinity being questioned as a result. Loving our children, having paternal feelings, desiring, for example, custody in case of divorce, showing affection, caring for descendants and ancestors, as well as many other characteristics traditionally and mistakenly associated with the female gender, are not only obligations for everyone but rights for everyone."

Por otro lado, la fundadora de IA+Igual, Marisa Cruzado Collado, reflexiona en El Periódico de España hoy 8M sobre el poder de la tecnología para promover la igualdad con su artículo «Lo que la tecnología esconde».

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