Luiza Cristina Fernandes Palma is the chairperson to the Portugal chapter of All Ladies League, the organization which hosts Women Economic Forum.
She is an investment banker with 30 years of experience living and breathing the socioeconomic havoc created by gender disparity in pay across male dominated sectors like oil and banking.
“Most CEOs are male not female. Male CEOs are paid more than female CEO and the pay gap amounts to 13 trillion dollars a year,” she said.
“I have seen this inequality go on for 30 years now. And I can’t wait another 30 years to find out whether women will ever be paid as much as men. We must act now.”
That’s why Palma will be submitting a new economic model to the World Bank in October 2017, and hopes the global banking sector will embrace it as well.
About the model she said, “The bank will use this model to analyse whether companies have gender parity in pay. If the companies do then they will be approved for loans and will be eligible for a lower interest rate. While the exact parameters to measure gender parity of a company are not yet revealed one will be equal pay for employees of both gender in the same job role.”
“I don’t think companies will resort to paying men less to equalize pay. They can’t afford to because the media will make a circus of it and corporations need the media on their side.”
The success of trying to revamp the social order through this new economic model is hard to verity. First it has to be introduced to the world. Palma, with her extensive network of banking contacts, feels that even if the World Bank may take an unknown amount of time to promote the model, if even one country adopts it and proves it to be a success, then other countries will follow. “The UK is quite open minded and promotes gender parity at work, that might be a good place to start,” she said of the country where she worked as a banker for nine years.