Mar 1, 2024

Vevey, Switzerland / March 1, 2024 – The EQUAL-SALARY Foundation is delighted to announce the election of former Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga as the President of its Foundation. This is Mrs. Sommaruga’s first public engagement since her departure from the Federal Council end of 2022. This engagement breathes a new momentum into the pursuit of equal pay and equal opportunities in Switzerland and beyond its borders.

As head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) for eight years, Mrs. Sommaruga’s time in office was characterized by a bold approach to promoting equal pay and the representation of women in listed companies. She played a decisive role in the introduction of equal pay analyses and quotas in favor of women, thereby changing the Swiss professional landscape. These legislative reforms obliged large companies to eliminate pay discrimination and promote greater diversity in management positions an

By taking over the presidency of the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation, Mrs. Sommaruga is stepping up the pressure to eliminate pay inequality.  Such inequality, according to the latest figures published by the Federal Statistical Office, is decreasing too slowly. Sommaruga thus continues her long-standing commitment to tackling inequality by emphasizing corporate responsibility. “With the EQUAL-SALARY certification, companies take a decisive step towards equal opportunities. Today, a modern employer must be able to demonstrate that it offers women the same opportunities as men in terms of employment, training, and promotion.” says Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation.

The EQUAL-SALARY Foundation certifies companies that can demonstrate, based on an internationally recognized scientific methodology, that they not only adhere to wage equality but also provide equal opportunities throughout the life cycle of their employees (recruitment, ongoing training, and promotion). This certification is a positive, voluntary, concrete, and tangible measure that allows companies to communicate about equality with evidence while preserving the confidentiality of their employees’ data.

To date, the foundation has conducted more than 150 certification procedures in over 90 countries. Several certified companies have renewed their commitment and show strong dedication to promoting equality, building trust, and respecting their employees, clients, and partners. EQUAL-SALARY certified companies are in an excellent position to attract and retain talent and demonstrate compliance with good governance rules.

Since 2024, the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation offers a new service: wage analyses using the “Logib” tool for equal pay (provided free of charge by the Swiss Confederation) can be integrated into the certification process after an external review. This allows companies to move directly to the second phase of certification: the qualitative on-site audit. This simplified procedure should encourage more companies to strive for equal pay certification and thus implement not only the purely quantitative but also the qualitative elements of equal opportunities in their company. “Today, companies are increasingly looking for qualified personnel, and at the same time, there are more and more highly educated women. Equal pay and work-life balance are therefore key factors not only for the society but also in the interest of the economy,”adds Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation.

Internationally, the European Commission has issued a pay transparency directive, which came into effect in spring 2023. The goal of this standard is to grant employees access to information about their pay, as well as that of their male and female counterparts. Employers are responsible for offering salaries that comply with equal pay and meet such transparency requirement. Swiss companies with activities in Europe will also have to comply with this directive sooner or later. The EQUAL-SALARY certification provides direct and concrete support to companies wishing to already comply with this new directive.

“It is with immense pride that we welcome Simonetta Sommaruga as President of the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation. Her pragmatism, influence, and continuous commitment to equality make her the ideal person to represent the Foundation and improve the cause of equality in Switzerland and abroad. The fair sharing of economic power and responsibilities between women and men has been long overdue, and this news represents the beginning of a significant and joyful advancement for all”, commented Lisa Rubli and Noémie Storbeck, co-CEOs of the EQUAL-SALARY Foundation.


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