What is Open Data Charter (ODC) doing to reduce the gender pay gap?

The Open Data Charter (ODC) exists to articulate the benefits of open data and work with our partners to push for policies and practices that realise them. This kind of transparency helps make governments more efficient and accountable, enables global collaboration, and tackles critical problems like gender gaps. Our goal is to make data open and freely available, while protecting the rights of people and communities – and to see this shift help solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time, creating more just societies and fair economies.

The ODC advocates for pay transparency, as part of our efforts to develop targeted open data norms and help governments translate them into concrete reforms that work for their context. We explore how increased data access related to gender pay gaps could improve women’s compensation and tackle systemic gender inequalities, in both the formal and informal workforce.

In partnership with the Center for Global Development (CGD) and with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), we work with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Feminist Open Government Initiative to identify and promote transformative gender inclusion commitments in their flagship government Action Plans.

Building on this work, with partners from the CGD, OGP, and The B Team, we are hosting a series of dialogues to explore actions for government and businesses to narrow pay gaps in the economy. The lessons inform our action research that synthesizes evidence of existing efforts to narrow gender pay gaps through increased data transparency and test their impact through policy engagements.

In what way can EPIC be relevant to Open Data Charter?

With its diverse set of actors working to reduce gender pay gaps, the EPIC provides a promising platform to accelerate collective action. We look forward to collaborating with this unique coalition to better understand their data needs and challenges across various levels. We seek partners to develop a global pay equity data standard that helps identify the right mix of remedies and track progress.

Research shows how gender pay gaps shrink when companies are required to disclose them. However, evidence supporting this has mainly concentrated in high-income contexts. Within countries, there is also a need to take a more intersectional approach, one that acknowledges and addresses the occurrence of pay gaps based on both gender and intersecting demographic characteristics.

There are no internationally recognized standards for measuring the gender pay gap. The lack of transparency and inconsistency in the information available on gender pay gaps across sectors and regions combine to inhibit the understanding of its causes and effects (ILO, 2016). This slows progress in promoting gender equality in the workforce and leaves particular groups of workers vulnerable or even invisible in published statistics.