Steady progress in boosting female economic empowerment, but gender pay gap still a major issue

PwC Women in Work Index

Prize of pay parity in OECD could mean US$2 trillion increase in total female earnings

Latest PwC Women in Work Index reveals:

  • Gradual improvement in female economic empowerment in OECD
  • Nordic countries still lead the way, with Iceland, Sweden and Norway taking top 3 spots
  • Poland climbs into top 10 thanks to gains in cutting female unemployment
  • Other top 10 places held by New Zealand, Slovenia, Denmark, Luxembourg, Finland and Switzerland
  • But gender pay gap poses major challenge, with parity still decades if not centuries away
  • Potential prize of closing the gap could boost total female earnings by US$2 trillion

21st February, 2017 – Slow but steady progress continues to be made in OECD countries towards greater female economic empowerment, according to a new PwC report.

But the gender pay gap continues to be a major issue, with the average working woman in the OECD still earning 16% less than her male counterpart – despite becoming better qualified.

The latest PwC Women in Work Index, which measures levels of female economic empowerment across 33 OECD countries based on five key indicators, shows that the Nordic countries – particularly Iceland, Sweden and Norway – continue to occupy the top positions on the Index. Poland stands out for achieving the largest annual improvement, rising from 12th to 9th. This is due to a fall in female unemployment and an increase in the full-time employment rate.

PwC analysis shows that there are significant economic benefits in the long term from increasing the female employment rate to match that of Sweden; the GDP gains across the OECD could be around US$6 trillion.


When it comes to closing the gender pay gap, countries such as Poland, Luxembourg and Belgium could see the gap fully close within two decades if historical trends continue. But much slower historical progress in Germany and Spain means that their gap might not close for more than two centuries, although making this a policy priority could accelerate progress. The gains from achieving pay parity in the OECD are substantial – it could result in a potential boost in female earnings of around US$2 trillion at today’s values.

Download the full report here.



Hans Geene
+41 58 792 9124

Charles Donkor
+41 58 792 4554

New report: PwC’s 20th Global CEO Survey – Harnessing the power of human skills in the machine age

The talent challenge: Harnessing the power of human skills in the machine age

pwc_ceo survey_2017

With the rise of automation, we’ve reached a point where we’re questioning the role people play in the workplace. How to achieve the right mix of people and machines in the workplace is the critical talent question of our age.

Fifty-two percent of CEOs say that they’re exploring the benefits of humans and machine working together and 39% are considering the impact of Artificial Intelligence on future skills needs. This is a delicate balancing act for CEOs in every sector and region.

However, you can’t have a machine age without humans and 52% are planning to increase headcount over the next 12 months. They are focused on obtaining the skills that they need to create a world where humans and machines work alongside each other.

Different skills will be needed, roles will disappear and others will evolve. Some organisations will need fewer people, but others will need more. There will be a rebalancing of human capital as organisations adjust.

Exceptional skills and leadership will be needed, and yet 77% of CEOs say they see the availability of key skills as the biggest business threat. Todays in demand skills are exclusively human capabilities – adaptability, problem solving, creativity and leadership. Software cannot imitate passion, character or collaborative spirit. By marrying these skills with technology, innovation can thrive and organisations can succeed in competitive market places.

CEOs have an enormous challenge ahead of them; it is the role of business leaders to protect and nurture their people to show that in the technological age, humans are their priority.

Our new report – The talent challenge: Harnessing the power of human skills in the machine age – looks at the dilemmas facing CEOs and their HR teams in today’s environment and how their businesses can stay ahead.

Download the full report here.



Hans Geene
+41 58 792 9124

Charles Donkor
+41 58 792 4554

Are large-scale transformation initiatives doomed by default?


Against a backdrop of ubiquitous change, successful transformation is essential for survival in a highly dynamic and competitive environment. However, there is overwhelming evidence that most such initiatives end in some degree of failure. We examine the trends and forces driving these processes and the factors crucial to their success.

Read more …

The Client onboarding process – how to provide state-of-the-art support

At first glance, client onboarding seems to be a simple and fast process. But apart from high client expectations and tedious internal processes, increasing regulatory requirements – such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) – have also turned it into a highly complex, customised process for every single prospective client. This could lead to banks spending weeks or even months running complex approval processes and having to let the client wait until an initial transaction can be made over the newly opened account. This leads us directly to the question of how customers, and even employees, can be supported during the process to enable a good customer experience on the one hand and efficiency gains within the company on the other.

Our clients in the banking industry have pointed out that implementation of a new client onboarding process is just one side of the coin (read our previous blog about client onboarding). The flip side is to come up with a support model that guides customers and employees through all upcoming questions during the onboarding process. Providing a consistent support model is also essential to improve the completeness and accuracy of account documentation.

PwC can support you in analysing your current support model, finding the gaps in comparison to best practice solutions, and in implementing an advanced support model into your existing, or new, client onboarding process.

In this blog, we will give you some insight into possible support solutions.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Marc Achhammer
PwC, Director Advisory
+41 78 850 66 66

Sandro Ricklin
PwC, Assistant Manager
+41 58 792 20 01

P&O global research: ‘The Ethics of Incentives’

PwC is working with Professor Alexander Pepper and Dr Susanne Burri of The London School of Economics on a ground-breaking global study into the ethics of incentives and the fair distribution of income in society.

As a senior business leader, we would very much value your contribution to this piece of work. Our survey takes a maximum of 20 minutes and includes questions which are designed to investigate the complex views we all have about pay fairness. Please click on the link below:


Please submit the survey by Friday 20th January 2017.

All responses will remain confidential – but there is an option to sign-up for an advance copy of the findings if you so wish.
I hope you will find the time to contribute.

Dr. Robert W. Kuipers
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG
Birchstrasse 160, 8050 Zurich

Phone: +41 58 792 4530

If you have any questions, please write to us at

ceo Magazine “Near and Middle East”

_MG_0210With the December issue of ceo Magazine, we want to bring you closer to the sprawling, multifarious world of the Near and Middle East.

395 million people, a surface area of 69 million square miles, 26 countries, three world religions – as diverse and contrastive as this region might be, it is all the more homogenous in one respect: its economic, social and geopolitical dynamism.

The magazine gives voice to personalities who have recognised this potential and are helping to shape the future of the region. What can Western cultures learn from our Eastern neighbours? What drives the people on the crest of this new wave of entrepreneurial creativity?

Frank Duggan, ABB Group Executive Committee member, is fascinated to see how the region is changing.
Samih Sawiris emphasises the impermanence of the Onsi Sawiris Scholarship Program.
And “Jane Bond” Shira Kaplan shares her experience in starting up a company that specialises in cyber security from Israel.

We wish you inspiring reading with interesting new perspectives.

Read more.

PwC & HR Today Survey “Future of work”

Your chance to win a prize: invitation to take part in the survey


To the survey


PwC has joined forces with HR Today to present a series of studies entitled HR Today Research. The aim is to foster dialogue with the professional HR community and encourage people to participate in the HR-specific survey. Take part and you could win a night for two in one of the five star hotels in the Victoria Jungfrau Collection.

The study results will be published in the spring of 2017 via the channels of HR Today and presented at an event.

More information can be found here.

Doing business in China: Three ways executives in China will adapt to new market realities

The APEC 2016 CEO Survey China report, Doing business in China, was launched last week. The theme focuses on a story of change and adaptation as executives in China develop their strategy in response to new market realities.

PwC surveyed over 1,100 CEOs and business leaders across APEC’s 21 economies (including 222 based in Hong Kong and China). They were asked to give their perspectives and plans for doing business in China in the run up to the APEC Business Summit in Lima, Peru (17-19 November).

Some of the hot topics from this year’s China report include:

  • Business outlook for a changing China
  • Investment plans of China executives
  • Strong sector growth stories in technology and financial services
  • Strategies to seek quality growth




You can find more information here.

Pitfalls and challenges during solution evaluations

What to watch out for when evaluating new (IT) solutions

In today’s rapidly changing environment, virtually no stone is left unturned. This means that every business is undergoing an ongoing transformation process and constantly adapting to stay competitive and compliant. Organizations need to transform for a variety of reasons, for example:


With the following brief white paper, which is based on our professional, cross-industry experience, we would like to provide insights into the key pitfalls and challenges that can arise during solution evaluations.

Download the paper here.

China Economic Quarterly November 2016

China remains on track to grow in the third quarter of 2016 buoyed by service sector growth and fixed asset investment

The China Economic Quarterly is a market outlook prepared on a quarterly basis by PwC to share the latest economic and policy updates. In this third quarter update, the overview of China’s macro trends are followed by a summary of the main policy developments and hot topics of interest such as Xi Jinping’s speech on the role of the Party in the management of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), China’s supply-side structural reform and pilot programme on SOE reform.

Graphic 1

According to key economic data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics for the third quarter of 2016, China’s GDP grew at the rate of 6.7%, an increase of 1.8% from the previous quarter, thanks to strong investment and expansionary monetary policies.

Here are the key findings:

  • Services maintained its strong momentum, growing 7.6% year-on-year in the first three quarters, contributing to just over half of total GDP growth.
  • Fixed asset investment grew 8.2% (or 9.5% real growth rate) to RMB 42.69 trillion, remaining one of the key drivers of the overall economy.
  • National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has expedited the approvals for urban rail projects. Up to now, urban rail plans of nearly 50 cities have been approved with a total investment of more than RMB 2.5 trillion.
  • Sales of residential buildings surged by 43.2% in response to new government restrictive policies on house purchase and land supply and rising inflow of hot money into the market.
  • Consumption maintained its growth momentum, becoming a major contributor to China’s economic growth.



china_economic_quarterly_nov2016To find out more about the market outlook and its implications for businesses in China, please click this link:

Hong Kong: