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EU finance ministers confront inequalities in advanced economies

G7 France reports that ministers and governors deepened their policy discussion on inequalities that started in Bari in 2017 and was further advanced in Whistler in 2018. They reaffirmed that a key challenge facing G7 economies is to make sure that every person has a real and fair chance to contribute to, and share in, economic success.

Ministers and Governors underlined the importance of strengthening equality of opportunities to deliver a more inclusive economy that works for everyone. They agreed on the value of sharing good practice to achieve this objective, and discussed in that regard the OECD presentation of a set of good practices in advanced economies to enhance equality of opportunities. The OECD also presented the Going for Growth report they released on July 12, which underlines the positive relationship between enhancing equality of opportunities and raising potential growth. 

Ministers and Governors also discussed more specifically policies on pay transparency to enhance fairness within companies with the identification of pay differential and pay gaps. While recognizing that countries differ in terms of collective preferences regarding pay differences between executives and employees, Ministers and Governors agreed that transparency on pay helps shed light on the issue. They also reaffirmed the need to close the gender pay gap and to fight against all types of discrimination.

Ministers and Governors finally underscored the essential role that the private sector can and should play in taking initiatives to promote equal opportunities and combat discrimination. In that regard, they discussed the initiatives presented by the representatives of the Gender Equality Advisory Council in favor of greater gender equality in the workspace. They also welcomed the informal exchanges conducted with representatives of the business community and the civil society in a wider session on gender equality.

Policy discussion on equality of opportunities, including through exchanging on good practices and sharing experiences, including on pay transparency, will remain an important part of the international agenda.

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