A study done by the University of St. Gallen on behalf of the Swiss Employers’ Association published this week found there was practically no pay inequality between men and women in Switzerland, reported RTS.
The study looked at analysis done on 461 companies in Switzerland using a federal government framework. According to the results 99.3% of companies had respected laws on equal pay. The study covered around 500,000 salary earners in Switzerland.
Regarding gender pay differences, 89% of companies showed no gender pay difference and 3.3% had unexplained differences. Only 3 companies showed a gender salary disparity above the federal government’s 5% level of tolerance.
The results of this Swiss survey chime with others. While median male and female pay differs, when the recruitment firm Korn Ferry compares pay for men and women—first by job level; then by job level and company; and finally by job level, company, and function—the “gap” gets smaller and smaller until it all but disappears. In much of the world, a man and a woman doing the same job, in the same function and company, get paid almost exactly the same, says the firm.
Essentially, the data suggest average pay differences are typically related to women doing different work to men rather than getting paid less for the same work. However, bias around promotion and career progression cannot be ruled out.
According to the Swiss Employers’ Association, the organisation that requested the study, the results show progress has been made. Federal rules have been followed and disparities look limited, it said. Figures used by unions in discussions on the subject appear exaggerated, it added.
However, the organisation said that companies should not let down their guard. And they should focus on the causes of pay differences, especially the more frequent interruptions to professional life experienced by women.