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How can governments, companies and investors tackle gender pay inequality?

“The World Economic Forum estimated it would  take 217 years to achieve gender equality in the workplace at the current rate of change” (Equileap)

A new research paper from Equileap argues that more needs to be done by  governments, companies and investors to reduce the gender pay gap and ensure equal work is rewarded with equal pay.

The report analyses how different countries, including the UK, Iceland, Germany, Australia and America, are ineffectively addressing pay inequality through legislation. Whilst these countries have attempted to bring in gender pay legislation, Equileap argues that more should be done to combat the gender pay gap and make sure men and women are paid the same for equal work.

Equileap makes a number of recommendations; they urge governments to mirror Iceland’s  approach of introducing compulsory certification, and punitive measures for companies if they fail to comply. They also recommend that governments should close the gender pay gap by compelling organisations to publish gender-segregated pay bands and legislation so companies cannot ask about potential employees’ previous and current salaries.

The report says that companies should disclose pay information by levels and not stop at the average, which can be a misleading value. Every company should conduct a gender-pay analysis and if a gender pay gap is discovered, prompt action needs to be taken.

Investors who use their funds with a gender equality lens can also help close the gender gap faster by undertaking investment stewardship engagements, proxy voting, as well as positive and negative screening of their investment portfolios.

Read the report