Equal pay? There’s an app for that

Article published on April 14, 2014
Article published on April 14, 2014

On Monday April 7th, the Equal Pay day, the French Ministry for Women Rights launched the “Leadership pour elles” (Leadership for her, ndt) to “help women advance in their careers”. Instead of establishing regulations on the discrepancies in salaries, the Ministry wants to coach women through the app so that they will muster the courage to ask for a promotion.

The French Min­istry of Women’s Rights, City, Youth and Sport de­scribes the Lead­er­ship pour elles mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion as a “never-be­fore-seen tool, that is con­ve­nient and free, to help women ad­vance in their ca­reers”. Launched on April 7th, the app was de­vel­oped with the help of the APEC (an or­ga­ni­za­tion spe­cial­ized in the em­ploy­ment of ex­ec­u­tives) and the AGE­FOS PME (an as­so­ci­a­tion that fi­nances vo­ca­tional train­ings for SMBs). Avail­able for free on both the Apple Store and Google Play, it aims to coach women into restor­ing their self-con­fi­dence at work.

As the Min­istry re­port points out « the fact that women are not as self-con­fi­dent as men can ex­plain up to 4,5% of the 25% of the wage gap”. Be­sides “men are 9 times more prone to ask for a pay rise than women”.

To over­come these dis­crep­an­cies, the app de­liv­ers a quick per­son­al­ity test to the user to get an idea of her pro­file. A se­ries of ar­ti­cles and videos are then made avail­able to make the inner leader in every woman grow. This seems like a makeshift so­lu­tion. Wage gaps still amount to24% today while only 26.9% of French MPs are women.

In 2013, the French gov­ern­ment took mea­sures against the busi­ness of more than 50 em­ploy­ees who did not ob­serve the law on pro­fes­sional equal­ity and pe­nal­ized them for the first time. Now it in­tends to mit­i­gate the in­equal­i­ties with the help of tech­nol­ogy. “It’s a coach­ing tool avail­able for every woman” said Najat Val­laud-Belka­cem, who has been Min­is­ter of Women's Rights since May 2012. She was re­cently pro­moted to the role of Min­is­ter of the City, Youth and Sports. So maybe she her­self fol­lowed the ad­vice de­liv­ered by the ap­pli­ca­tion to ask Manuel Valls, the new French Prime Min­is­ter, for a pro­mo­tion.