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Gender Pay Reporting to Start

Companies with more than 100 employees must report to the U.S. government data about how much workers are paid broken down by sex, race and ethnicity, possibly as soon as this spring, according to a new court ruling. The pay disclosures were finalized by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the summer of 2016, but the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) froze the expanded requirements after President Trump took office.

The National Women’s Law Center and other groups sued, and on March 4, judge Tanya Chutkan ruled in their favor, saying that the government didn’t properly justify its decision. The OMB could appeal, and it’s not clear whether companies must comply by the original deadline of May 31.

 Iceland—the Most Gender Equal Country

What if 90 percent of American women walked off their jobs one day to protest the gender wage gap? That’s precisely what Icelandic women did on Oct. 24, 1975. Now celebrated annually as “Women’s Day Off,” the holiday commemorates the 25,000 women (more than one-tenth of the entire population at the time), who gathered in the capital of Reykjavik to protest economic inequality for women, from unequal pay in the workplace to uncompensated housework and child care at home.

The protest created long-term changes in Iceland’s society. Today, nearly 45 years later, the most gender-equal country is Iceland, according to the U.N.’s 2018 Global Gender Gap Report. The country has closed more than 85 percent of its overall gender gap. Iceland is followed by Norway (83.5 percent), Sweden and Finland (82.2 percent). Though dominated by Nordic countries, the top 10 also features a Latin American country (Nicaragua, 5th), two Sub-Saharan African countries (Rwanda, 6th, and Namibia, 10th), and a country from East Asia (Philipines, 8th). The top 10 is completed by New Zealand (7th) and Ireland (9th).

 Workplace Ageism

Does workplace ageism affect women and men differently? These days, an increasing number of workers try to stay on the job past the traditional retirement age of 65—some because they enjoy their careers and believe they’re still making valuable contributions, others because of financial realities. But it’s not necessarily that easy to grow old in the workplace. Older employees may face resentment from younger colleagues, who see them as competitors for coveted leadership roles and economic opportunities.

In a study recently published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, evidence suggests that women are perceived as less of a threat by younger colleagues. The study also indicates that older, assertive men face the strongest “agency proscription”—that is, pressure for them not to assert themselves, but to sit back and allow young people to rise. In contrast, older women who are similarly assertive, tend to be spared such backlash because their behavior isn’t perceived as threatening.




In this Issue

Plant Power

The Economist called 2019 “the year of the vegan.” Indeed, we are seeing more and more plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus. Many people...

Kid Safe? The Vaccination Debate

Measles, mumps, chicken pox and other childhood diseases of yesteryear are making headlines again in the United States. Formally prevalent viruses and bacterium affected thousands of lives before a sc...

Managing Workplace Stress

If you’re not stressed at your job and workplace, consider yourself lucky. In a recent Gallup poll, 55 percent of Americans said they are stressed during the day, 20 percent higher than the worl...

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