The project equal pacE aimed to provide and promote a web tool by which companies can voluntarily analyse their pay structures and detect a potentially existing gender pay gap and its causes. The equal pacE web tool has been made available in five languages: Dutch, English, Finnish, French, and Polish. Its use is free of charge. The equal pacE web tool is based on the well-established web tool Logib-D that has been funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It was adjusted for the country-specific requirements in Flemish-Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as in Finland, France, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

The equal pacE web tool is an interactive software application that performs econometric calculations with real firm data. These calculations comply with the highquality standards of academic research. The equal pacE web tool can be easily and autonomously handled by human resource managers. The web tool produces an outcome report that informs the user about the extent of the unadjusted and adjusted gender pay gaps in his or her organisation and the significance of the most relevant drivers. The report is company-specific and includes a lot of instructions and hints regarding how to interpret the results of the calculations. The report empowers managers to design appropriate policies that deal, in particular, with gender-related issues at work, but the report also supports human resource managers who intend to find solutions for the challenges that generally arise from demographic change.

The multi-level and multi-language equal pacE website serves as the port of entry to the five equal pacE web tools. In addition, it provides a broad range of additional material supporting the autonomous use of the web tools, such as instructions, FAQs, and test datasets. Furthermore, the equal pacE website contributes to a better understanding of the issue gender pay gap and its causes by the provision of information about the selected countries and up-to-date news of recent research findings. Information and documents are available in Dutch, English, Finnish, French, and Polish.

equal pacE train-the-trainer workshops in Brussels (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland), London (United Kingdom), Paris (France), and Warsaw (Poland) introduced the equal pacE web tool to representatives of national authorities, multipliers, social partner organisations, and companies. In a full-day training session the participants were empowered to promote the usage of the equal pacE web tools among their business members or stakeholders. The workshops also informed the participants about strategies on how they can support their members in their efforts in attracting and retaining top talent and how action can be initiated.

equal pacE offers valuable and innovative support for employers in the five selected countries who wish to analyse their pay structures with a special focus on gender. The feedback from the workshops’ participants revealed that the initiative had been warmly welcomed. The merits of the equal pacE web tools were broadly acknowledged and numerous comments proposed how the knowledge of equal pacE could be passed on. equal pacE was deemed to be a “promising start” for raising awareness for the topic gender pay gap. In this respect, having quantitative data at hand was regarded as an important step for addressing the business case when a company deals with gender issues in the highly sensitive area of wage setting.

Thus, equal pacE can help to generate a “double dividend”. Firstly, companies can improve their employer branding by making gender pay equality an outstanding value in HR management. Secondly, the voluntary companies’ efforts simultaneously support initiatives on a sectoral or national level that also address the issue of the gender pay gap.

IW-Report

Andrea Hammermann / Jörg Schmidt / Oliver Stetes: A web tool-based equal gender pay analysis for a competitive Europe (equal pacE) – Overview, elements and lessons learned

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