The US Equal Pay Pledge

I was reading a very interesting article in Los Angeles Times about the new U.S. administration's initiative to close the gender salary gap, the so called Equal Pay Pledge - Click here to see the full LA Times article.

According to this commitment, each company will conduct a yearly analysis of its pay practices, review hiring and promotion procedures and adopt practices aimed at closing the pay gap between men and women. IKEA, Facebook, Apple, Linkedin and Microsoft are amongst the companies that have already signed the pledge.

Currently, women make up nearly half the U.S. labor force, "yet in 2014, a woman working full-time year-round in America earned only 79% of what the typical man earned".

In the European Commission website you find that equal pay for equal work is one of the founding principles of the European Union embedded in the Treaties since 1957. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that each Member State shall ensure that the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value is applied.
The Commission Recommendation on strengthening the principle of equal pay between men and women through transparency, adopted in 2014, aims to assist Member States and other stakeholders in finding the right approaches to tackling pay discrimination and the persisting gender pay gap.

For instance, in Spain we have the "Plan de Igualdad" - Click here to see more information (in Spanish). The web provides practical guidance to design and elaborate these plans that must be in place for companies with more than 250 employees. The law establishes the need to set targets and follow up procedures to ensure progress is being made. In Sweden we have the Handlingsplan för jämställda löner that is compulsory for companies with more than 25 employees every 3 years.

Despite the EU legislation on equal pay in place, there is still a gender pay gap of about 16 % at EU level according to the above mentioned website of the European Commission. So there are good initiatives in place but there is still much work to be done.