PwC’s Global Gender Pay Compass Sheds Light on Gender Pay Regulations

Originally published at PwC is a Hall of Fame company.


Setting the scene

Gender equality is becoming increasingly important all over the world, with more and more stakeholders expecting companies to promote and practice it. No aspect of gender equality is under greater scrutiny than how organizations treat — and reward — their male and female employees. Complying with gender equality rules, or even going a step further, can enhance a business’s reputation with customers, regulators, employees (both current and prospective) and the public at large. So an organization that does its homework on gender equality and pay will not only save itself a lot of trouble, but also gain opportunities that may not otherwise have existed.

How we helped

All of this makes it crucial that any executive or HR manager running a business internationally — or planning to operate in more countries — knows the laws and sanctions governing gender equality in the relevant territories. To help companies achieve this, PwC Switzerland has developed the Global Gender Pay Compass, an easy-to-use tool that summarizes the most important facts on the gender pay equality legislation and sanctions in place in countries worldwide.

At the heart of the tool is a color-coded map of the world that categorizes each territory according to the rules and penalties that are in force there. By diving deeper into the tool, the user can also find more detailed information on the general law in a country and specific measures that it has implemented, as well as contact details for the local PwC specialist.

In January 2019, PwC Switzerland announced its first update to the Global Gender Pay Compass, adding information on legislation in 19 additional countries, taking the total to 88. At the same time, the firm released the findings of a research study into whether gender pay legislation actually has a measurable impact in reducing gender pay differences.

The study drew on figures from the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report from 2008 to 2018. It found that countries with gender equality legislation reduced their gender gap on ‘economic participation and opportunity’ three times faster than those without — and that countries with no legislation had seen their ‘wage equality for similar work’ gap increase by more than 5 percentage points on average over the past decade.

Impact and potential

With more and more clients now using the Global Gender Pay Compass, a growing number are also proving their commitment to equal pay by accepting PwC Switzerland’s offer to apply for EQUAL-SALARY Certification. EQUAL-SALARY is an independent non-profit foundation that promotes equal pay for men and women around the world. PwC Switzerland is the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation’s main partner. Together with the University of Geneva, the foundation has developed a robust methodology for objective pay analysis.

Certification under the methodology is a four-step process: first, statistical analysis; second, an on-site review by the PwC equal-salary team, using international quality management standards; third, certification by EQUAL-SALARY; and fourth, two monitoring reviews during the next three years to demonstrate ongoing commitment. In November 2018, the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation announced that PwC Switzerland had itself obtained the EQUAL-SALARY certification after having been audited by an independent third party.