Fairer wages and artificial intelligence are the priorities in businesses in 2024

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In the last three years, many steps forward have been made to improve pay equity and, above all, overcome the gender gap. However, the results achieved do not allow us to remove the remuneration issue from the priorities in human resources management for 2024. Inclusion continues to play a leading role, also because values ​​such as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI ) for workers influence the decision to remain within a company or not. According to data from “People at Work” by the ADP Research Institute, conducted on over 32,000 workers in 17 countries (2 thousand workers in Italy), in 2023 over half (53%) of employees of large companies witnessed an improvement in gender pay gap over the past three years, compared to around four in ten smaller ones. The greatest improvements occurred in companies with 500-1000 employees.

The Italian context

The Italian numbers say that 24% of workers think that gender pay equality has improved in the last 3 years (28% men and 19% women) and Dei policies have also improved for 27% (29% men and 25% women). If 35% say they have never participated within the company in initiatives to promote DEI policies, 33% have participated in staff training, 18% in awareness events, 12.4% say that their company implemented a review of company demographics to identify areas for improvement.


One of the ways to improve thepay equity transparency is certainly becoming an increasingly important issue. With the approval of the directive on salary transparency, the European Parliament has put an end to the so-called “pay secrecy”, to provide workers with the necessary means to assert their right to equal pay between men and women for equal work or for work of equal value through a series of binding measures. Lack of pay transparency has been identified as a major barrier to closing the gender pay gap. Certifications are certainly helping to identify problems and set up structured paths to resolve them. In Italy, gender certification was introduced with law 162/2021. According to ADP data, in Italy, 48% of women still feel underpaid. Not only that: in Italy 44% of employees obtained an average salary increase of 5.5%: men say that their pay increased by 5.8%, compared to 5.2% for women. 50% of men and 36% of women got a raise.

The weight of artificial intelligence

LGenerative artificial intelligence will be one of the big business themes in 2024. Ethics and compliance are seen as increasingly important for businesses. It will be critical to determine how data will be used with generative AI, who will use the technology, and how best to comply with related laws and regulations. Among the questions to ask, according to ADP research, there are certainly data privacy and security, the rights of employees on the use of their data to train generative artificial intelligence models, and trust. The topic generates much debate and fear: according to ADP, 13% of Italian workers believe that the use of artificial intelligence will become the norm in their sector in the next five years, thus reducing manual activities. More men fear AI (15%) while the percentage is 11% for women. The group that feels most threatened is that between 18 and 24 years old (21.5%) while it drops to 10% for those over 45. As regards the sectors, the most insecure are the operators in the financial world (19 %), professional services (18%), manufacturing (17%) and IT and telecommunications (17%). Followed by real estate operators (15%) and the media and information sector (15%).


Flexibility of time and place, especially for the new generations, remains a priority. 39% of Generation Z (1995-2010) are dissatisfied with the flexibility of hours offered by their current employer and 37% with the flexibility of their workplace. While 44% of baby boomers are satisfied with the flexibility of times and location offered which is also fundamental for attracting new talent.

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