Gender inequality persists in Swiss businesses and society

The government says Switzerland is on course to boost women's rights but challenges remain. Keystone/Martial Trezzini

Thee government has set new targets to improve gender equality in top positions of state-run companies.

This content was published on November 25, 2020 minutes

The decision is also aimed at boosting equal representation of members of Switzerland’s four linguistic communities: German, French, Italian and Romansh.

The target for gender representation has been raised from 30% to a minimum of 40% to be reached by the end of 2023, according to a government statement on Wednesday.

This is also higher than the 30% quota for companies listed on the Swiss stock market.


The announcement coincides with the approval of a United Nations report on the elimination of discrimination against women.

The report welcomes the progress being made by Switzerland, notably a planned equality strategy due to be published next year as well as several legal amendments.

They include the requirement to conduct an equal-pay analysis, improvements in the protection of victims of violence, greater flexibility in balancing work and care duties for family members, and, in revised company legislation, the introduction of guidelines on the gender composition of boards of directors and management boards.

However, the report continues to criticise persistent wage differences between the sexes, the underrepresentation of women in managerial positions and domestic violence.

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