The gap has been closed!
Iceland is proving that it is an ideal place to be a working woman by being the first country in the world to close its gender pay gap. Legislation to support it was passed earlier this year and is going into full effect in the new year.
Though the Nordic nation has been rated the world’s best in terms of gender equality for years, was the first country to have a female president and even though four out of five women work, there are still gendered realities in Iceland to be assessed and solved.
Culturally, Icelandic women are deeply connected to their roots and are considered strong and ambitious, though there is a slew of Icelandic men with a sense of entitlement – this new legislation can be a real impetus for change all the way around in attitudes and behaviours in the workplace.
Progressive politicians all over the world have been studying and researching how to close the pay gap, and the solution hasn’t been the most obvious and accessible perhaps, until Iceland introduced how its new law enforces equal pay by putting the burden on the employer as opposed to the employee.
Private and public sectors will naturally continue to take qualifications and experience into account when hiring a new employee. Now, however, every single workplace with more than 24 employees will need to showcase a governmental certification that female employees are being paid equally as their male co-workers for the same title and performance.
Shirking this legislation could be equally compared to discriminating based on ethnicity, religion or against those with disabilities. A certification will be accessible to job applicants, and failure to obtain or honour a certification of the equal gender pay standard will be prohibited and significantly fined.
Women of Iceland are not only feeling satisfied with and celebratory of this new governmental success, but also look forward to a more open discussion between genders, richer productivity and investment in the workplace, let alone higher morale sans secrets.