Friday, July 8, 2022

Recomended Reading: Swiss United Methodist gender pay survey

As it is in the United States, the pay differential between women and men in ministry has been a concern in the Swiss United Methodist Church for some time. However, in Switzerland that concern within the church is backed up by secular law. The Swiss Parliament passed a law in 2020 requiring companies with 100 or more employees to survey records and establish that they were providing equal pay for equal work.

After an extensive data analysis process, the results came back that the Swiss UMC paid men and women nearly equal - 2.7% less for women than men, which is within standard statistical variance. The Swiss report did not examine whether women and men were equally likely to hold various types of work, just whether they were equally compensation when performing the same type of work.

The Swiss report stands in marked contrast to similar studies in the United States. A General Commission on the Status and Role of Women report found that, in 2020, US clergywomen earned "11% less in salary, 11% less housing allowance, and 9% less parsonage amount than clergymen." The COSROW report found discrepancies across years of service and categories of clergy service, with women earning less as elders and deacons, full and provisional members, and serving in the UMC or another denomination (though the gap was smaller for clergy serving in other denominations). The only category where women earned more was as student local pastors. The gender pay gap also exists across jurisdictions in the United States.

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