Sustainability & CSR

Equal pay for women and men

In Switzerland, as well as in Italy and many European countries, it is estimated that it will take another 60 years to achieve equal opportunity between men and women.

In 2019, the average salary for a man was 18.1% higher than for a woman. This is confirmed by the salary data published by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, which also show that the largest gap of 23% is in the “executives” category.

Nearly 40 years after women gained the right to vote and stand for election with the introduction of the constitutional article on the principle of equal rights between men and women, and 25 years after the Swiss Gender Equality Act came into force, in Canton Ticino (Switzerland), the wage gap in the private sector increased from 15.8% to 17.3% between 2014 and 2018.

Despite this somewhat discouraging general data, at IBSA there is no disparity in treatment between men and women: “Fairness and integrity are indispensable values in our daily operations in order to maintain a positive and productive work environment,” comments Virginio Cattaneo, Head of Human Resources at IBSA Group. Indeed, at our company, women account for 47% of employees with managerial or executive responsibilities. This encouraging figure fully reflects our corporate culture.

To promote gender equality, IBSA is supporting, for the second consecutive year, the Club Business Professional Women Ticino. This association was founded in 1983 in Lugano and is comprised of 70 women who work side by side to improve women’s future, supporting each other to combat inequality. The International Federation of Business and Professional Women has around 30,000 members and is represented in over 100 countries on every continent. BPW delegates actively participate in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), as advisory members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and in numerous UN organizations (WHO, ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNIDO, FAO and others).

In recent years, numerous training, mentoring, and networking activities have enabled progress towards some of the goals: gender pay parity and 50% of positions on Boards of Directors, Parliaments, and Governments.

In 2020 Club BPW in Ticino launched, via a bus driving around the streets of Lugano, the Women on Boards awareness campaign, which aimed to draw attention to women’s reduced presence on the Boards of Directors of medium and large companies (currently 20%).

For 2021, it aims to enter schools of Canton Ticino with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) campaign and project to equally encourage both male and female students to develop a critical understanding of prejudices and gender stereotypes regarding scientific subjects. 2021 will also see the return of the annual Equal Pay Day, a campaign promoted throughout Switzerland and national action day that exposes the pay gap between men and women. The date of Equal Pay Day changes from year to year, effectively illustrating the wage gap. For example, based on 2018 data census, if a man was to receive his salary on 1 January (2020), a woman would have to do an extra 14.4% of work for free before receiving her salary...working, to be specific, until 20 February.