Dec 21, 2020
By Bethany Carter
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The impact of Covid-19 brought gender equality issues to the forefront during 2020, with lots of discussion and concerns raised around unequal male and female roles and pay. Inequalities that were previously hidden in plain sight became obvious, and employees continue to wait in expectation for the organisations they work for to fix them.

In April, the World Economic Forum published a feature that stated “the gap could increase this year as women are likely to be disproportionately affected by home responsibilities in quarantine” and WINSummit shared an article stating that the burden of the gender pay gap was more significant during this crisis.

In May, the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation confirmed its continued support to UN Global Compact. In renewing our commitment, we expressed our intent to keep supporting the Global Compact in advancing the 10 principles, in particular principles 1, 2 and 6 of the UN Global Compact with respect to human rights, and labor.

From July, an amendment to the Equality Act came into force demanding that Swiss organizations with 100+ employees had to prove they pay women and men fairly. It states the analysis must be carried out “according to a scientific method and in accordance with the law”. The EQUAL-SALARY methodology is compliant with the requirements defined in the Equality Act.

In September, International Equal Pay Day was celebrated for the first time in history. This milestone event represented the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value. The United Nations invited Members states and civil society, women’s and community-based organizations and feminist groups, as well as businesses and workers’ and employers’ organizations, to promote equal pay for work of equal value and the economic empowerment of women and girls.


Despite the COVID 19 crisis which delayed a number of procedures, several organizations became EQUAL-SALARY certified during 2020.

Beginning with the re-certification of Caisse Cantonale Vaudoise de Compensation AVS in February. Then in April, HES-SO Valais-Wallis was the first institution in the field of education to obtain the EQUAL-SALARY certification. In the same month, UBS obtained the EQUAL-SALARY certification for all its employees in Switzerland.

In May, BancaStato – Banca dello Stato del Cantone Ticino became the first company in Ticino to be EQUAL-SALARY certified. In June, UCB Farchim SA obtained the EQUAL-SALARY certification for the whole staff of UCB Group in Switzerland, making it the first organization in the pharma sector to achieve certification.

In July, the “Société de cooperative Migros Vaud” successfully passed the statistical analysis of its salaries and became the first organization in the mass retail sector to obtain the EQUAL-SALARY certification. Also in July, Ferrari S.p.A. proved that it applied equal pay for women and men and became the first organization in the automotive industry to obtain the EQUAL-SALARY certification.

In October, EBU, the world’s leading alliance of public service media, became the first organization from the media sector to be EQUAL-SALARY certified.

In November, Vacheron Constantin, Branch of Richemont International SA in Switzerland became the first organization in the watch making industry to obtain the EQUAL-SALARY certification. In the same month, Gruppo CREDEM – Credito Emiliano S.p.A. obtained the EQUAL-SALARY certification for all its employees spread over 511 sites in Italy. It was the first company of the financial sector to obtain the EQUAL-SALARY certification in Italy.

Finally in December, Société de la Loterie de la Suisse Romande (Loterie Romande) obtained the EQUAL-SALARY certification too.


We remain confident that we can continue to push the needle in 2021, primarily through education and certifications. One of the main issues we need to address is that many companies do not know how to innovate their salary parameters and adapt them to the demands of society, even if they are willing to make changes. Managers and human resources managers require education on how to approach and implement the issue in a constructive way.

By offering a scientific solution through concrete action, the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation will continue to advocate for equal pay between women and men. If you would like to become EQUAL-SALARY certified, join the cause, become and ambassador, or learn more, please get in touch.

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