Iceland wants to end its gender pay gap in 5 years. Can the U.S. follow?

In The News

By Alastair Jamieson

Yet even where positive protection doesn’t exist, greater transparency is helping women to stake their claim for equal pay through measures forbidding employers from asking the salary history of job applicants.

Women typically enter the job market in lower-paid roles, “which means each time they move jobs or get a pay rise, that initial imbalance is magnified if employers know they can offer less money,” said Ariane Hegewisch, program director for employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington.

“What’s interesting about Iceland compared to the U.S. is that their new law has cross-party support,” she said. “Whenever such ideas are floated in the U.S., companies always complain they’ll be sued to death or that there will be lots of frivolous claims. Companies say there are good reasons why women are paid less, that women choose lower income roles, but choices have nothing to do with it.”

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