President of Malta visit at MIA on Thursday 7th March 2019
Institute of Accountants takes lead to address gender-based disparity
President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca praised the Malta Institute of Accountants for taking the lead on gender pay inequality and hoped that other professions follow the example. MIA commissioned a member survey to assess gender-based pay disparity in the accounting profession.
Conducted by Misco, the study shows that the gap in income between men and women tends to grow as careers progress.
Speaking at the presentation of findings, Institute CEO Maria Cauchi Delia said that women carry a heavier burden because they are more likely to take career breaks to raise their families, falling out of pace with their male colleagues who continue to develop their careers.
In fact, the study reveals that less than five percent of companies offer structured career break opportunities that allow employees to balance their professional and personal development. Misco Director Lawrence Zammit said that reduced hours oftentimes penalise women most because they affect their bonuses and performance benefits, contributing to a widening gap along the years.
“Work rate should not be measured by hours spent at the office but by the value it creates.” said Cauchi Delia, arguing that all roles, irrespective of gender, should be made more flexible.
President Coleiro Preca claimed that disparity in pay not only affects quality of life in the immediate term but constitutes inequality in pensions at the end of the professionals’ careers, pushing down women’s gross entitlement in relation to men. “These are inequalities that will have to be carried by society,” warned the President.
Maria Cauchi Delia said that the Institute will be promoting best practice to its members and industry and make recommendations about strategic issues including the need for increased flexibility, Gender-Neutral Job Evaluation Schemes, compensation schemes and salary transparency. She said that the profession wants to keep attracting a balanced share of both women and men but indicated that more women are needed in top positions. The increasing number of female graduates, said Cauchi Delia, gives hope for change.