Initiative: Switzerland Advancing Gender Equal Pay (SAGE)
Institution: Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE)
Problem: Despite progress, Swiss men and women are not paid equally. In 2014, the average gender pay gap (GPG) was 19.5 per cent in the private sector and 16.6 per cent in the public sector. These disparities are detrimental to women and their families in both the short and long terms, since social insurances and retirement pensions are affected.
Solution: In 2015 a new large-scale public sector initiative called SAGE was launched. SAGE aims at eliminating the GPG in all labour market, with a special focus on the public sector’s role of “leading by example”. SAGE consists of two pillars: 1) development and promotion of a self-test tool, Logib, allowing companies from 50 employees to find out whether their practice complies with the requirement of equal pay; 2) charter for equal pay in the public sector which calls for regular checks to ensure the respect of equal pay within the public administration, corporations close to the public administration and in public procurement or subsidies.
Impact: To date, SAGE has proved its effectiveness. The federal government, half of the cantons (regional authorities) and all major cities have signed the charter. More companies are performing self-tests, new policies have been adopted, and statistics show improvement. SAGE has built a momentum to achieve equal pay for all women.