Philip Morris International today achieved an important ‘first’ and key milestone on its inclusion and diversity journey on the road to creating a more gender-balanced organization.
“We need to use this moment to celebrate and continue building an inclusive, gender-balanced organization as we deliver upon our transformation and a smoke-free future.” Those were the words of Philip Morris CEO André Calantzopoulos as he received the company’s global EQUAL-SALARY certification in front of hundreds of colleagues at PMI’s Operations Center in Lausanne, with thousands more tuning in from around the world to follow the event live.
The global certification, which verifies that PMI pays its female and male employees equally for the same job or work of equal value, reflects the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Equal pay for equal work among women and men has been an issue in many countries dating back as far as the Industrial Revolution, with early efforts for equal pay being associated with nineteenth-century Trade Union activism in industrialized countries. Although the pay gap for equivalent work is shrinking with generations, it is still a concern for many women across the world today. And companies who walk the talk by putting their money where their mouth is on equal pay, are making a difference.
PMI has become the first multinational company to be globally certified, and Calantzopoulous said, “The global EQUAL-SALARY certification demonstrates the great amount of work our colleagues across the world have accomplished in confirming equal pay for equal work throughout PMI worldwide”.
The company employs around 77,000 people worldwide and undertook the rigorous certification process, taking 18 months, to demonstrate its firm commitment to equality.
Speaking about PMI’s global certification during the ceremony in Lausanne, EQUAL-SALARY Foundation Founder and CEO Véronique Goy Veenhuys said, “By its global character, the certification of Philip Morris International is a major step for pay equality between women and men. That a leading Fortune 500 company makes such a commitment is a strong signal. We are proud of the international scale that PMI’s global certification gives to our cause.”
PMI’s global EQUAL-SALARY certification kicks off a week-long celebration to mark International Women’s Day, with a range of activities planned to promote discussion and learning around the issue of everyone having their ‘fair share’. PMI has planned events and networking opportunities for women and men of PMI, all focused on celebrating the benefits of inclusion and diversity. In particular, PMI has lined up a Fair Share communications conference on Friday, 8 March (International Women’s Day), which aims to help male employees become gender bilingual and to break down any wall that can exist between colleagues.
PMI also used the global EQUAL-SALARY certification event to launch a collection of stories of 42 inspiring women at PMI, from different functions and levels representing many different parts of the world, in a drive to elevate female role models within the company, and to showcase their unique contribution to PMI’s business transformation.