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Switzerland

Intel Switzerland

  • Gender inequality in Switzerland – from bankers and farmers to artists

    Almost every article published by swissinfo.ch contains a percentage, an age, an amount of money or some other figure. Here’s a round-up of some of the most interesting statistics to appear in the past week’s stories. Monday 100 The Swiss interior minister defended the role of the International Labour Organization in the digital age at the organisation’s 100th meeting in Geneva. He also called for more efforts to achieve equal pay, ahead of the nationwide women’s strike on June 14.  Tuesday 24 Female bank employees in Switzerland earn on average 24% less than men, says a study. The gender wage gap has widened in the banking sector over the past two years.   Wednesday 63 Female farmers work 63 hours a week, according to government statistics, but only 30% of them receive social security benefits and are paid for their work.   Thursday 26 swissinfo.ch’s research into gender equality at Swiss art museums found that only 26% of artists with solo shows are women. What’s …

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  • General Electric to slash 450 more Swiss jobs

    United States engineering giant General Electric has revealed it will cut a further 450 jobs at two of its Swiss sites. Since 2016, the company has already shed some 2,000 workers. The company, which generated profits of $954 million (CHF952 million) last year, blamed the latest cuts on “financially challenging conditions”. But its GE Power division reported an operating loss of nearly $1 billion globally. The two plants outside Zurich do business in the gas-fired power plants sector. “Demand for power generation from fossil fuels is declining, especially in Europe, in a competitive market,” General Electric said in a statement on Monday. The job cuts are still subject to consultation with trade unions and the Swiss authorities. The company says that 10% of the posts to be cut are currently unfilled. In 2016, General Electric Switzerland slashed some 900 jobs following the acquisition of the energy division of the French industrial group Alstom. The following December the …

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  • Minding the gap between the sexes in Switzerland

    In Switzerland, equal rights for women and men are enshrined in the Federal Constitution – which is what voters wanted. But nearly 40 years after the popular vote of June 14, 1981, the goal of equality has yet to be achieved. Here are five key indicators illustrating day-to-day gender inequality in Switzerland. “Men and women have the right to equal pay for work of equal value,” states the constitutional article on equal rights. The law also expressly prohibits any on-the-job gender discrimination – especially with regard to wages. The official statistics, however, show a completely different reality. In 2016 (latest available data), the standardised median gross monthly wage in Switzerland was CHF6,011 ($6,051) for women and CHF6,830 for men, a difference of 12%. In the private sector alone, the difference was even greater. There, women earned 14.6% less than their male colleagues. Only part of this gap could be explained by objective factors such as differences in education …

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  • Swiss gold refinery turns back on artisanal miners

    Swiss gold refinery Metalor Technologies has announced it will no longer deal with artisanal mining operations. The company cites the increasing cost of ensuring that gold is being produced by small mines in compliance with human rights and environmental standards. Metalor has come under repeated fire for doing business with gold mines in South America that care neither for their workers or surrounding habitat. Some of gold being refined has also been linked by NGOs to money laundering. The company has refuted many of the charges being levelled at them by human rights groups. But it had nevertheless already ceased doing business with artisanal mines in Peru last year whilst declaring self-regulated measures to combat abuses in the gold trade. Monday’s announcement also signals the end to its artisanal activities in Colombia. Pressure groups has complained that Metalor’s due diligence was failing to spot back doors through which “dirty gold” was allegedly reaching the refinery. …

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  • The sky’s the limit: Swiss aviation pioneers

    On the centenary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight, we look at the groundbreaking achievements of some of Switzerland’s aviation pioneers.  On June 14, 1919, British pilots John Alcock and Arthur Brown took off from an airfield in Newfoundland and crash-landed unhurt in an Irish bog less than 16 hours later. The two were treated as heroes, although US pilot Charles Lindbergh remains better known for making the first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight – from New York to Paris – in 1927.  The history of aviation in Switzerland goes back more than 100 years and is marked by early pioneers such as balloonist Eduard Spelterini and the Piccard family. Here we present a few of the many Swiss daredevils who laid the groundwork for future pilots.  Ernest Failloubaz (1892-1919) In May 1910 Failloubaz became the first person to fly a Swiss plane (which had been designed and built by René Grandjean, see below).  In another first, in August 1910 he crossed his fingers and …

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