In Focus: Effort to Close the Gender Pay Gap Goes Global

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​Efforts to close the gender pay gap are launching across the globe, showing that pay equity is a worldwide issue, and remedying pay discrepancies is a priority for many lawmakers.

[SHRM members-only how-to guide: How to Establish Salary Ranges]

Iceland Wants Employers to Prove Pay Equity

Legislation has been introduced in Iceland that would make it the first country to require employers to prove that male and female workers are receiving equal pay. Although the country has had pay equity laws for around 50 years, the new legislation would have more teeth. Employers would have to assess every job and identify and correct wage gaps that exceed 5 percent. The government found that women earn 14 to 20 percent less than men and it aims to remedy that within five years. (The New York Times)

New Zealand Bill Would Require Pay Transparency

A recently introduced bill in New Zealand would require all employers to record gender and pay data. Employers would have to provide that information to the government for publication in aggregate form. Employees would also be entitled to request and receive aggregate gender and pay data from their employers for all workers that perform the same type of job. (Otago Daily Times)

Canadian Working Group Focuses on Gender

Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn is leading a gender wage gap working group and attending a roundtable discussion series in Brantford, Ontario, that will address workplace inequities faced by women. Government data shows that women in Ontario (which includes Ottawa and Toronto) earn 14 to 26 percent less than men. The roundtable discussion will be centered on the gender wage gap, but other related topics may be raised, such as daycare issues and workplace harassment. (Brantford Expositor)

New Singapore Stock Exchange Disclosures Reveal Pay Gap

A study in Singapore showed that female directors at companies listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange earn an average of 56.8 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Listed companies are now required under a new governance code to calculate pay differences at the board level based on gender. "The discussion on board diversity in Singapore should move beyond merely increasing the percentage of female directors to also address deep-seated inequalities including remuneration and women's share of board leadership roles," said Marleen Dieleman, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore Business School. (HRM Asia)

U.K. Rolls Out Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations

Regulations to address the gender pay gap are expected to hit employers in the United Kingdom in April. Private-sector employers in the U.K. with at least 250 employees will have to publish certain information about pay differences between men and women, including differences between mean and median hourly rates and bonus payments. (SHRM Online)

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