The Czech Republic, together with the European Commission and Costa Rica as co-sponsors, organized a side-event at the 67th UN CSW to discuss pay transparency in the context of the digital age. Participants filled the room to its maximum to attend the event entitled “New Opportunities to Reduce the Gender Pay Gap in the Digital Age: the EU Pay Transparency Directive, National Legislation Examples, and Further Good Practices Globally”, which dealt with good practices on the national (and other) levels.

The side event was opened by a presentation of the success of the Czech presidency of the European Council. Towards the end of 2022, a consensus was reached by all trilogue parties on the new pay transparency legislation “DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL to strengthen the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between men and women through pay transparency and enforcement mechanisms”. The new EU law will empower women to enforce the principle of equal pay for equal work through a set of binding measures on pay transparency.

The plenum was also full of representatives of very interesting initiatives to reduce gender pay gap at all levels in many countries around the world. Among the great remarks was another very inspiring good practice came from Ontario, Canada in the presentation by Ms. Kadie Ward, Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer, Pay Equity Commission of Ontario, and contributor to The Equal Pay International Coalition, ILO. Its specific added-value is based on the history of the legal provision in Ontario, its long-term nature that allows for analyses and measurement of efficiency, and its wealth of collected experience with the value of work systems.

The event was closed by a statement of consensus that a lot of good legislation has been discussed and, while it is extremely important to have strong and sound legal provisions, it all may not be enough to make a real change happen. It has to go hand in hand with education, awareness raising, and understanding the social processes that cause the problem in the first place.

UPDATE March 30, 2023

The Parliament’s plenary showed strong support of the legislation across the board by 427 votes to 79 against and 76 abstentions to adopt the pay transparency directive, including pay structures to compare pay levels will have to be based on gender-neutral criteria and include gender-neutral job evaluation and classification systems. Vacancy notices and job titles will have to be gender neutral and recruitment processes led in a non-discriminatory manner.

Here is further information, in case of your interest: Gender pay gap: Parliament adopts new rules on binding pay-transparency measures | News | European Parliament (