Yes, you read it right. As per the new law of Iceland, it is mandatory for all the companies and organizations having more than 25 employees working there to have an equal pay scale for the same work irrespective of the gender of the candidate. The law of equal pay was actually planned on the International Women’s Day in the year 2017 and came into effect from January 1, 2018. Whereas in the United States, the recruiters believe that the women pay scale is lesser than their male counterparts because they show less aggression while salary negotiation and the fault lies on their part. However, Iceland has already moved ahead in the conversation and believes that the equal pay scale is the responsibility of an employer.
As per this law, agencies and companies with strength of 25 employees or more will be legally obligated to have their equal pay policies qualified and certified by the government, and fines will be levied on the companies which fail to verify that they have achieved equality. The certification procedure confirms that the organizations don’t only commit to paying women and men equally—they actually have to pursue throughout. Now, it is the demand of time that people realize that this is the systematic problem which we need to tackle at our organizational level by introducing new tools and methods.
Iceland is clearly doing these things right which is helping them to be ranked as the world’s most gender-equal country from last nine years operational by the WEF - World Economic Forum and moreover, they have a plan to entirely eradicate the pay gap by 2020.
We have a lot to learn from the countries who are moving ahead to get the gender equality in place through the government rules and laws that companies have to abide at any cost. We, as Human Resource professionals should understand our responsibility to take these issues to the next level and make some tools that can help you to reduce the pay gap in your organizations.
If you see some strategies adopted by Intel for improving the gender pay equality, they pay a better referral bonus to their employees who refer and get a female employee on board. These ways, the people who are already working for you will try to get more female employees for you. This will give you a helping hand to achieve your target to get a better sex ratio in your organization. Looking at the success rate of this tool adopted by Intel, the companies like Microsoft and Accenture also followed the same to have recruited and retain more of the women employees.
Google has improved their maternity benefits to retain their female employees. Google simply addressed the problem of women attrition by increasing the maternity benefits to five months. They give five full month salary including salary, bonus, and stocks. These ways, they have improved the attrition rate of women employees and are able to retain them for a longer period of time-saving company’s cost and time.
I know that there is nothing called one-size-fits-all strategy which will directly carry about gender equality in the employees, I am thrilled and excited to see companies and countries that are making some real efforts to reach there—from changing their source of candidates and recruit to implement new support, benefits, and coaching for their female employees. There is still a long way to go, but we need to make it clear that pushing for what we really need is bringing about the required change.