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France Moves to Close the Gender Pay Gap

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Bravo France! France recently rolled out their plan to close the gender pay gap. Despite equal pay laws being put in place 45 years ago, men are still paid nine percent more than women on average in France. Absurdité!  

On Wednesday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a plan that would require companies with more than 50 employees to install a software that monitors all employee pay gaps. If a gap isn't justified, the company will have three years to correct the mistake or face possible fines. 

If a company fails to mend a pay gap detected by the software after three years, labor inspectors could impose a fine of up to one percent of what the company pays all employees. 

Companies will also be required to openly publish gender pay gaps on their websites. Internally, unions will have access to data according to one’s position and seniority. 

The measure is part of a social reform bill that is due to be presented to Philippe's cabinet at the end of next month. If passed by parliament, the measure will be introduced by 2020. The goal is to have the software installed in companies with more than 250 employees as soon as next year and in 2020 for firms with 50 to 249 employees. 

Want our take? 

The gender pay gap is a serious issue that affects women across the globe. For reference, the average gap across European Union member states is 11.5 percent, and in the US it ranges between 10 – 17 percent. Although this legislation will not make up for all inequities women face we commend France for taking concrete, necessary steps in the right direction. Today in celebration of International Women’s Day we look positively towards a future filled with progressive actions that will better our world for the next generation of history-making women. 

Martín Herdoíza