Gender Equality | "How to ensure gender balance in the economy."
Equality between women and men has been recognized by the French President as a national cause during his term. For the last two and a half years, the French Government has been workingto achieve it, and the first results are there, in particular thanks to the introduction of an index aimed at ensuring equal pay and the law on the future of work carried by Muriel Pénicaud, Minister of Labour. Women still face inequalities that affect us all. Beyond the injustice they represent, studies show that they are also detrimental to the economic success of our country. That is why, at the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France committed itself to proposing a law in 2020 to promote equality between women and men in the economy.
As part of the citizen’s consultation for gender balance in the economy, the members of the ICR’s Gender Balance Observatory made five proposals linked to the measures in its Green Paper to accelerate gender balance in organizations:
I. Form a club of committed leaders who will be called upon to be a force of proposal to the HCEfh and the Secretariat for Gender Equality for the progress of gender equality
Linked to the first measure of the Observatory’s Green Paper, this proposal recalls that the commitment of top management is essential for sustainable actions to accelerate gender balance within companies. Top-ranked organizations in Gender Balance rankings all benefit from the strong commitment of their managers. This can be described as an « attitude » to adopt on the part of management, rather than as a measure to be put in place.
II. Add to the annual ranking of companies (French Ministry/Ethics & Boards):
The existence of personal training for the manager on gender balance issues.
The existence of personal training for the management team on gender balance issues.
The existence of personal training for human resources in gender balance issues.
The existence of personal training of trade unions on gender issues;
Linked to the second measure of the Observatory’s Green Paper, this proposal reinforces the importance of awareness, daily commitment and perseverance on the part of each and every woman and man, young and old, in order to profoundly transform a world that is often said to be « shaped by men, for men », and to deploy the necessary cultural change in organizations on a sustainable basis.
III. Add to the annual ranking of companies (French Ministry/Ethics & Boards):
The proportion of fathers who took a paternity leave at the birth of their child
The proportion of fathers who took a parental leave at the birth of their child
Linked to the third measure of the Observatory’s Green Paper, this proposal questions the differences between the career cycles of women and men, particularly in relation to maternity, leading to variations in availability for work and the ability to advance.
IV. Enforce the quotas applicable in France on the boards of directors of subsidiaries and business units of major groups
V. Enforce the quotas applicable in France in the boards of directors of holding companies not listed on a regulated market
These two proposals refer to the law relating to the balanced representation of women and men on the Boards of Directors and Supervisory Boards and to professional equality – also known as the « Copé-Zimmermann Law » – which sets a mandatory quota of 40% of the under-represented sex in the Board of Directors as of January 1, 2017 in listed companies and in companies with more than 500 permanent employees and a turnover of more than €50M.
If the application of the Coppé-Zimmermann law within the Boards of Directors of listed companies is now a reality – 44.6% of women hold seats on the Boards of Directors of the CAC 40 in 2019 – it is now essential to disseminate it within the Boards of Directors of subsidiaries and Business Units of these companies, as well as within holding companies of companies not listed on a regulated market, so that the gender balance is respected at all levels of the company.