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Professional equality between men and women: large French companies are setting an example

By The writing in partnership

– Published on August 02, 2022 at 14:12

While there is still some way to go, professional equality between women and men in France is progressing. A virtuous dynamic partly due to the large French companies which are committed to moving the lines, such as L’Oréal or the La Poste group.

Since 1946, gender equality has been a constitutional principle. The law guarantees women in all areas equal rights to those of men. The professional sector is obviously no exception to the rule. Over the past two decades, a national legal framework aimed at reducing gender inequalities has gradually imposed itself: law for the freedom to choose one’s professional future, which encourages companies to dedicate an envelope to salary catch-up, Copé-Zimmerman law, which imposed quotas for women on boards of directors and supervisory boards, the Rixain law, adopted in 2021, which provides for the establishment of quotas in the governing bodies of companies with more than 1,000 employees, professional equality index, etc.

Thanks to these texts, the situation of women is improving in France. The labor market has indeed been strongly feminized since the Second World War. Women represent approximately 48% of the French working population. Almost 83% of women aged 25 to 49 were active in 2019, compared to 93% of men. In addition, the wage gap between women and men is gradually narrowing, both in the private and public sectors. In the political sphere, the share of women in the National Assembly has increased from 26.9% in 2012 to 37.3% in 2022. Regarding positions of high responsibility, the boards of directors of large companies are today close to parity (44.6%).

This last point reminds us that the major French organizations set an example in terms of professional equality between men and women. This is indicated by the 2021 edition of the annual Equileap barometer. This data specialist for gender equality in the workplace surveyed 3,895 companies in 23 countries with a market capitalization of at least $2 billion.

In total, 19 criteria range from the place of women in management bodies to the measurement of the pay gap, passing parental leave practices or policies to combat sexual harassment. With a score of 52%, up one point from the previous edition, France finds itself at the top of the podium, ahead of Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia and Germany. France has 15 companies out of 121 in the top 100, or 11% of its panel.

Number 1 in France (13th worldwide) is L’Oréal. The cosmetics giant is committed to achieving gender equity at all levels and in all functions of the company. It also fights against sexual harassment and gender-based violence. At the end of 2021, women represent 69% of the workforce, 50% of members of the board of directors, 32% of members of the executive committee, 55% of key positions and 59% of brand directors. international.

Another large French company stands out for the implementation of proactive actions in favor of gender equity: the La Poste group. As a company with a mission, La Poste wishes to be exemplary with regard to professional equality, a principle that has long been enshrined in its values ​​and policies. This is why the group initiates, among other things, concrete actions with the unions. On July 21, La Poste and the trade unions CGT, CFDT, FO, the list Osons l’Avenir CFE-CGC/CFTC and the UNSA-Postes signed the 5th social agreement relating to professional equality between women. and men.

Concluded for the 2022-2025 period, this agreement reinforces the policies already in place and sets new ambitions, such as reaching 40% women among strategic executives and strengthening gender diversity in all professions. It also provides for an annual budget of €400,000 to correct pay gaps. In addition, La Poste reaffirms zero tolerance in the fight against sexism and violence. This agreement will also make it possible to support parenthood and strengthen health prevention for postal workers.

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