The principle of equal pay for work of equal value is nothing new. On the contrary, it has been enshrined in the International Labour Organization Constitution since 1919. However, in the Czech Republic for example, the gender pay gap of around 10% persists for employees working in the same positions in the private sector. “One hundred years is too long to wait, and we must all work together to make equal pay for work of equal value a reality,” concludes Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the ILO.
A number of companies around the world came to the same conclusion and decided to act on it. In 2019, Nokia analyzed the pay structures of 103,000 employees around the world and closed the gap wherever they identified unexplained wage differences for women as well as for men. The analysis and equalization of the gaps required a significant budget, but in the same breath Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri adds that it is a form of an investment in the company: “The cost of inaction would be far higher. It would harm our ability to attract and retain great people and to bring the diverse perspectives needed to ensure the success of our business,” says Suri.
Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, had already suspected something disconcerting in his company back in 2012. He ordered an audit and found gender pay gaps across the entire company, in many locations and levels. “Unconscious bias shows up in all kinds of ways, especially in industries like tech that have historically been largely male-dominated. I’ve learned a great deal about how a company’s culture can breed inequality in ways small and large. ‘Unconscious bias’ is a big one, and unfortunately it’s also a swamp you can step into even when your intentions are good,” summarizes Benioff, who regularly calls on all CEOs to close their pay gaps too.
Companies committing themselves to transparency and elimination of pay inequalities keep springing up like mushrooms. Novartis is in the process of increasing pay transparency and, as a member of Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2023. Under former CEO Simona Scarpaleggia, the IKEA group has also been working on closing the gender pay gap among its 3,000 or so employees in Switzerland. As Scarpaleggia says: “What better motivation could there be than the knowledge that what is good for women, men, families, and communities is also good for business and endeavors of all kind[s]!”
Feel inspired? We do too. So we are presenting to you, at no cost, the Swiss analytical tool Logib for measuring the gender pay gap. In addition to that, our expert team will help you not only to check whether you pay fairly but also to kick off your journey to equal pay for work of equal value. Now there is no reason to wait another hundred years.