Schneider Electric SVP describes companys fair pay progress

Schneider Electric SVP describes company's fair pay progress

 June 24, 2021

"Gender discrimination and inequalities present themselves in many ways—harassment, belittling of skills, bias…. None are acceptable, and all must be addressed. That includes pay gaps between men and women, which too often still exist in organizations and societies around the world," says Karine Armand-Fedida, Senior Vice President of Rewards & Performance at Schneider Electric.

"It seems like such a no-brainer: that everyone, regardless of whether they are female or male, should receive equal pay for equal work; and that employees should be rewarded fairly and equitably for the skillset they possess and the contributions they make."

Karine reflects on the company's journey of pay equity and fair pay - where Schneider Electric started, how the company has progressed, and what's next. 

Extremely proud of Schneider Electric's progress

As a woman professional in a male-dominated industry, Karine has experienced pay equity issues. For example, in discussions at one of her previous employers about bonus payments. "Some of the senior management felt that women who had been away on maternity leave should not be entitled to a bonus as they hadn’t contributed as much as their male counterparts. An attitude that perhaps wasn’t that unusual back then…but it shocked me to the core because, in my mind, it should not have been a question in the first place," she explains.

Karine is thankful that many organizations have woken up to the need to address unfair pay gaps and move towards pay equity, such as Schneider Electric - and Karine is "extremely proud of the progress" the company has made.

"We’ve taken a multi-pronged, holistic approach to creating a sustainable culture of fair pay which means we take fair pay into consideration not only during hiring but also when promoting, during pay review, and more," she says. "And we’ve adopted a global framework, covering the nearly 130,000 employees we have across more than 100 countries and territories, to ensure consistency, fairness, and greater transparency." 

Taking a multiple-pronged approach to achieve equality

In concrete terms, this means Schneider Electric:

  • in 2015 joined the UN Women HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 to be a champion of promoting gender equality.
  • has committed to implementing a global pay equity review process that covers 95% of the employee population by 2020. In fact, the company managed to exceed this goal, reaching 99.6%.
  • hires at competitive and fair levels based on role and experience, regardless of gender.
  • has raised awareness of the issue and combat hidden bias in the minds of managers and colleagues by hosting workshops, learning sessions and providing them with playbooks.

"The journey towards gender pay equity and fair pay has not been easy. And there’s still a long way to go as we have the ambition to increase gender diversity from hiring to executive leadership," explains Karine.

"But taking a multi-pronged approach, spanning both compensation policies and education and awareness-raising – and applying it consistently to staff around the globe — has helped to move the needle in the right direction. And we can be proud of that."

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