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Coronavirus : when the crisis makes it more glaring pay inequalities between women and men

to Work almost three months longer to earn the same as men : this is what denounces the Equal Pay Day, on 25 march 2020. An injustice more glaring than ever. 5

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Coronavirus : when the crisis makes it more glaring pay inequalities between women and men

to Work almost three months longer to earn the same as men : this is what denounces the Equal Pay Day, on 25 march 2020. An injustice more glaring than ever.

59 days : this is the additional time that it takes, on average, the French earn the amount received by men in one year. This leads logically to the 25th of march of the following year - working days counted - to get as much as their male counterparts. The international NGO Business & Professional Women (BPW) has made this date the Equal Pay Day, which France celebrates today the 12th edition of the... in the very particular context of the health crisis related to the epidemic of coronavirus.

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The time is the struggle for equality in a context of a life-threatening emergency ? The paris outpost of BPW has rightly considered it appropriate to maintain the planned actions, to this day the symbol of the march 25, adapting the program to the constraints of containment. For two reasons, both pragmatic and ethical : "The date of 25 march is determined by calculating the difference in pay between women and men and put it back in later would not be of sense," says Valentine Viard, president of BPW Paris. In addition, as in the past, during wars for example, this crisis highlights the importance of women's work, which is found in the first line. Maintain our initiatives is a way to pay a tribute to them", she adds.

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It is good to remember : women represent 90% of aids caregivers, 88% of the nurse workforce, and almost half of the physicians, 90% of the staff in the cashiers of the stores that ensure the supply, 82 % of primary school teachers, who ensure that the monitoring of the schooling of our children to private school, or even 90% of the staff of the nursing home to our isolated seniors. While they are more mobilized than ever and more exposed, women still earn less than men. An inequality is all the more revolting today.

wage inequality that is increasing in the course of a career

This situation does not date from yesterday, as evidenced by the canonical age of BPW, an NGO centenary, at the origin of Equal Pay Day, which advocates since its creation to ensure that women have the same rights as men in the world of work. And despite efforts to correct for this difference, the wage gap has stagnated around 25%, while working time confused, according to the Observatory of Inequalities (23.7% according to Insee). "This figure hides other, equally disturbing, highlights Valentine Viard : at the beginning of the working life, outside school, the entry in the same company, a young woman is hired with a salary of 10% to 14% lower than that of a young man with the same diploma. And in the end, it is these inequalities, to which is added the problem of part-time jobs not always chosen, impact the retirement pensions of which the difference reached 42% at the expense of women". The Equal Pay Day is the opportunity each year to encourage companies and public authorities to act.

The president of BPW Paris welcomes the government initiatives of recent years in France, beginning with the act Copé-Zimmermann imposing a minimum quota of members of each sex in boards of directors, as well as the new index Pénicaud. Imposed from 2019 to companies with more than 1000 employees, and from 2020 to those who are over 50, it aims more directly to the issue of equal pay. Thus, 17% of the companies subject to the calculation found under the threshold of 75 points, but efforts have been made by many of them to progress from one year to the other. BPW France also intends to raise the awareness of businesses with fewer than 50 employees, are not subject to the Index : "They employ five million women that should also help to reduce the wage gap they face", edge Agnès Bricard, president of BPW France.

For others, non-compliance with the threshold limit of 75 points in the Index to the exhibits in the three years of sanctions, of up to 1% of payroll. "Remains to be seen whether these will be well applied. Because it takes coercive measures, legal and financial, to move forward," says Valentine Viard. But also changes in culture and practices in the workplace : it is the subject of the virtual round table, organised for 25 march, and is accessible online.

Take responsibility to advance pay

For the five participants, Francis Bloch, managing director of KPMG France, Sébastien Darrigrand, director-general of the Union of employers of the social and solidarity economy (UDES), Lucille Desjonquères chair of the firm Leyders Associates and the chapter on France of the International Women Forum, Pascale Dumas, CEO of Hewlett Packard France and Valérie Jénot-Laluque, founder of The Pizza's on Sunday Night, the equal pay between women and men appears like a no-brainer. Almost a "non-issue" for all. Amazing ! And rare... What would be the effect of a corporate culture that is highly inclusive and/or self-awareness for a long time on the value of diversity to ensure economic performance. According to Francis Bloch, the key is to embody these values at the highest level for the infuse then cascaded to all levels.

For its part, the consultant Lucille Desjonquères note "the willingness of many betweentaken to find solutions to make up the middle management female and overcome the blocks that women impose themselves". The evolution in terms of taking responsibility is also the solution to progress through the wage scale. "The goal is not to develop a spirit of competition, but to give confidence to women in their skills," adds Pascale Dumas. Example at the top, career management, empowerment to gain boldness in the negotiation are as well essential.

Revaluate the employees of the "care"

For Sebastian Darrigrand, it is also time to refine the tools of human resources concerning the criteria of job evaluation and remuneration in order to correct the bias and to better take into account the question of equality of women and men. And while waiting for the companies to do their part, the women can work their own strategy : on 25 march, BPW Paris offers a lecture live, at 15 hours, on the psychoéthique of wage bargaining, led by Cécile Chavel.

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The containment lifted, BPW will be able to resume its action to raise awareness in companies workshops nego-training to train women to negotiate their salary (14 were planned throughout France on 25 march by BPW France), or even start a campaign of posting, if the Forum Generation Equality held as planned in Paris in early July, from boards, from the Little Shown of the Equality realized by the designer Lulu to Ardis for the Equal Pay Day in 2020,. And Valentine Viard conclude : "The output of the health crisis, will also push us to revaluate the role and remuneration of women mainly in the sectors of care." Thank you for them.

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