Office diary: “Equality between men and women on the index”


Ihe average score for the gender equality index declared by companies in 2023 is 88/100, the Ministry of Labor announced on March 8. For Orange SA, 89/100, with a small weakness on parity within the ten highest salaries; 96/100 to the National Pension Fund; who says better ?

The index, which each company with more than fifty employees is obliged to brandish with the 1er March, is supposed to express the level of equality between women and men, by measuring the differences in salary, promotion and parity within the ten highest salaries: 72% of the companies concerned published their index in 2023 , compared to 61% in 2022 and 2021 and 54% in 2020.

The index, created by the law on the professional future, in 2018, now appears on the sites of companies in the spring, like the first flowers of the year, essentially to praise their good scores and spread their image of “beautiful box “. “The results have been constantly improving since it was set up in 2019”, underlines the Ministry of Labor. However, much remains to be done to achieve professional equality in companies, in particular within the very masculine top 10.

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The bad students of the index keep a low profile, others simply avoid declaring their situation, even if it means risking the sanction provided for by law. Since 2019, 49 financial penalties have thus been notified to companies by the labor inspectorate, for failure to publish the index, failure to define corrective measures or because of an index lower than 75/100 for more than three consecutive exercises. Since 2020, 77 companies have remained below the fatal threshold of 75/100, which triggers the sanction.

Harsh conclusions

What is the use of this index? Four years after its creation, the Institute of Public Policy (IPP) decided to take stock of it, and presented it at a press conference on March 6. His conclusions are stark: “Limited coverage”, “little effect on the companies concerned”, “complex calculation rules, which make it possible to attenuate wage gaps”. Clearly, companies have learned to adapt the measuring instrument to serve their interests or simply do not fall within the scope. The IPP has thus established that the workstations taken into account by the index “represent only 25.5% of private employment”.

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One should not, however, throw the index finger to the nettles, like a vulgar parasitic element of communication. Because, if Orange SA, for example, can today present a rate of feminization of more than 32% of senior executives and 40.7% on the executive committee (comex), it is because, before the Rixain law of 2021, which imposed a quota of women on the executive committee of companies with more than 1,000 employees, there was the creation of the index, and, ten years earlier, in 2011, the Copé-Zimmermann law, which introduced quotas on boards of directors.

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