It’s my job. Still too few women among senior executives

Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Labor, October 14, 2020 (LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP)

Let the big payers lift their finger. And they are often men. Thus, 37% of companies still have fewer than two women among the ten highest paid. Another figure: women are only 20% in executive committees. But that could change. The Minister of Labor will initiate consultation with the social partners. Elisabeth Borne wants to add a new indicator to assess gender diversity in companies. This will be the share of women among senior executives.

However, other indicators already exist. There are five of them and they define the equal pay index. A score out of 100 which is now public. Not only do companies have to mention it on their site – it is not always obvious, you sometimes have to look for it – but the Ministry of Labor mentions it on its own site, but again you have to dig. This publication, which can serve or harm the reputation of a company, has been in operation since last March for the largest companies, those with more than 1,000 employees. From next March, it will be compulsory for those between 50 and 250 employees. Below, no obligation.

Did this post have an effect? Probably. It is the principle of “name and shame”, ie “to name to shame”. Companies with bad ratings don’t want it to be known and are looking to correct things. The ministry points out that 19% of companies did not have the minimum score of 75 out of 100 in 2019 and that they are only 4% in 2020.

But can’t we go further? It will be necessary when we see the figures for pay inequality. According to the Les Glorieuses movement, there remains a 15.5% gap between men and women, on an equal footing. At the current rate, we would not be equal … for 100 years. In addition to this new criterion, which relates to the proportion of women leaders, an original proposal has been formulated. It is that of Delphine Rémy-Boutang, founder in particular of the agency The Bureau and Digital Women’s Day, which fights for a greater presence of women in digital professions. She calls for tax relief for companies with the highest score in the index, a 100 out of 100, and for those that meet a 50% quota for women on their boards. A reward rather than a blow of the stick.

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