Pay Gap sign
Pay Gap by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images
European Approaches to the Gender Pay Gap
The policies of other nations can offer some insight into how to address pay inequality. Iceland, for example, has consistently been at the top of the world rankings for workplace gender equality in the World Economic Forum survey. A new Icelandic law went into effect on January 1, 2018, that makes it illegal to pay men more than women, gauged not by specific job category, but rather in all jobs collectively at any employer with twenty-five or more employees, a concept known as an aggregate salary data approach. The burden of proof is on employers to show that men and women are paid equally or they face a fine. The ultimate goal is to eliminate all pay inequities in Iceland by the year 2022. The United Kingdom has taken a first step toward addressing this issue by mandating pay transparency, which requires employers with 250 workers or more to publish details on the gaps in average pay between their male and female employees.
Policies not directly linked to salary can help as well. German children have a legal right to a place in kindergarten from the age of three years, which has allowed one-third of mothers who could not otherwise afford nursery school or kindergarten to join the workforce. In the United Kingdom, the government offers up to thirty hours weekly of free care for three- and four-year-old children, to help mothers get back in the workforce. Laws such as these allow women, who are often the primary caregivers in a household, to experience fewer interruptions in their careers, a factor often blamed for the wage gap in the United States.
The World Economic Forum reports that about 65 percent of all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries have introduced new policies on pay equality, including requiring many employers to publish calculations every year showing the gender pay gap. Steps such as the collection and reporting of aggregate salary data, or some form of early education or subsidized childcare, are positive steps toward eventually achieving the goal of wage equality.
Revised from Byars and Stanberry (2018) pg. 175.
Which of these policies do you think would be the most likely to be implemented in the United States and why?
How would each of the normative theories of ethical behavior (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue, and justice ethics) view this issue and these proposed solutions?
You recently became CEO of a company with 400 employees where men made 25% more than women on average across all employees. What actions would you take to reduce this gap to under 10% within two years? Would it be realistic to reduce the gap to 0? Why or why not?
Remember in this discussion forum you should respond with substantial detail to this topic early in week 1 of the module. This will be your “initial post.” For your initial post, also bring in information from at least one background source or your own research to help inform your classmates. Cite the source.
Then by week 2 of the module, you are to respond to the posts of at least two of your classmates. Your responses should have depth of critical thought and not simply agree or disagree. For each response, also bring in information from at least one background source or your own research to help inform your classmates. Cite the source.
Each post should be about 250-300 words.
Discussion posts will be assessed according to the following criteria on the discussion rubric:
Quality of initial posting (first discussion only): Initial posting reveals a clear understanding of all aspects of the treated discussion question; uses factual and relevant information; and demonstrates full development of concepts.
Quality of Responses to Classmates: Responds to the required number of students and to the professor, if appropriate. Demonstrates analysis of others’ posts; extends meaningful discussions by building on previous peer posts; and offers alternative perspectives.
Reference to supporting readings/information literacy: Refers to and properly cites either course and/or outside readings in posts, as required.
Critical thinking: Demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem; viewpoints and assumptions of experts are analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated; and conclusions are logically presented with appropriate rationale.
Timeliness: Initial post occurs in a timely manner (1-3 days into module) allowing ample time for classmates to respond and engage.