1.1 Gender Balance

Indicator 1.1 - Gender Balance in the Workforce

Gender balance in Alcoa Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun workforce compared to all of Iceland

Starfsmenn Alcoa taka við Jafnréttisverðlaunum 2008This indicator shows gender balance in Alcoa Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun, workforce according to the Icelandic job classification standard (ÍSTARF95, an Icelandic version of ISCO-88, International Standard Classification of Occupations).

It also compares wages of men and women in each job classification category. 

Photo: Alcoa Fjarðaál receives the Gender Equality Award in 2008.


a) Gender balance in  Alcoa Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun workforce compared to gender balance in comparable jobs nationwide.

Table 1: Gender banance in different occupational groups at Alcoa Fjarðaál smelter and Landsvirkjun Power Station 2018 comaperd to gender balance nationalwide.

Gender ballance in different occupational groups

Here you can download results from 2007 - 2018


Updated: March 21st 2019

  • Alcoa Fjarðaál (2008 - 2019)
  • Landsvirkjun (2008 - 2019)
  • Statistics Iceland (2019).  Retrieved March 20th 2019  from  Employed persons by occupational groups, sex and education 1991-2018 https://px.hagstofa.is:443/pxen/sq/6785ea66-f48c-4ab9-b59c-8b65aa516540

b) Relative wages in comparable jobs: Regular wages of women as a percentage of regular wages of men working for Alcoa Fjarðaál, Landsvirkjun. 

Tables 2-4 show women wages as percentage of men wages in different occupations at Alcoa Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun compared to national average.  100% means women and men have the same wages, results below 100% mean higher wages of men and above 100% means women have higher wages than men.


Table 2. Regular wages of women as a percentage of regular wages of men at Alcoa Fjarðaála

Associate profes-sionalsc
Service and sales workers
Craft workersd
Plant and machine operators
 2008    95 % 93 %
   86 %
 88 %
   71 %
112 %
 2009  104 % 80 %   117 %
163 %
   62 %
 99 %
 2013  141 % 96 %
98 %
 78 %
 91 %
92 %
 99 %
 96 %
 2014  123 % 97 %
82 %
 85 %
 96 %
80 %
137 %
 96 %
 2015    98 % 93 %
68 %
 86 %
104 %
82 %
 86 %
 92 %
 2016    98 % 95 %
79 %
 89 %
100 %
96 %
 90 %
 92 %
 2017    89 % 98 %  92 %   92 %  100 %  94 %   96 %   97 % 
 2018    93 %
96 %
90 %
 82 %
104 %
97 %
 97 %
 98 %

a  All numbers are average numbers.

b  This occupational group includes both managing directors and middle managers.  Women are only six, thereof two in upper management.  Therefor they weigh high in the average.  In 2016 the number of women in middle management increased lowering the upper/middle management ratio.

c   The enterprise agreement states that women and men should have comparable wages however women have on average shorter period of employment than men and are therefore in lower wage category which explains the wage difference in this group.

d  The wage ratio is biased in this group since women are few and have been employed for a long time and gained knowledge (Stóriðjuskóli course).  They weighed high in the average compared to the men since the number of men is much higher than the number of women in the workforce.  When one woman quit the ratio balanced plus more men have moved up the pay scale.

Table 3. Regular wages of women as percentage of regular wages of men at Landsvirkjun Table 3. Women's Earnings as a Percentage of Men's at Landsvirkjun

Managers are now divided to three groups but used to be one group.

Table 4.Regular wages of women as percentage of regular wages of men  in Iceland Table 4. Women's Earnings as a Percentage of Men's in Iceland


Updated: March 22, 2019

  • Alcoa Fjarðaál (2009 - 2019)
  • Landsvirkjun (2009 - 2015)
  • Statistics Iceland (2015), retrieved August 5 2015 from http://statice.is/?PageID=1188&src=https://rannsokn.hagstofa.is/pxen/Dialog/varval.asp?ma=VIN02010%26ti=Earnings+in+the+private+sector+by+occupational+group+and+sex+1998-2014%26path=../Database/vinnumarkadur/fulllaun/%26lang=1%26units=Thousand%20ISK

Monitoring Protocol

What is measured?

a) Gender balance in different occupations at Alcoa Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun compared to national average (Project effect: direct).

Grouping is based on ÍSTARF95, an Icelandic version of ISCO-88, International Standard Classification of Occupations. :

  • Managers (ÍSTARF 12 - 13)
  • Professionals (ÍSTARF 2)
  • Engineers (ÍSTARF 2142 - 2147)
  • Technicians and Associate professionals (ÍSTARF 3)
  • Clerks (ÍSTARF 4)
  • Service and sales workers (ÍSTARF 5)
  • Crafts and related trades workers (ÍSTARF 7)
  • Plant and machine workers (ÍSTARF 8)
  • Elementary occupations (ÍSTARF 9)

b) Ratio of female to male employee salary by job classification measured by the regular wages of women as a percentage of the regular wages of men at Alcoa Fjarðaál and Landsvirkjun, sorted by job classification (project effect: direct).

If the ratio is 100%, that means equal pay. Regular salary means the paid sum for the negotiated work hours, irrelevant whether it is daytime or shift work. The salary includes all kinds of premiums, bonuses and cost refunds, such as regular overtime, which is calculated in every disbursement period. The calculation excludes piecework pay, benefits, car use or other irregular payments. Regular pay is calculated if paid hours (daytime or shift work) counts for at least 90% of full daytime work requirements. If paid hours in daytime or shift work counts as 90-100% of daytime work requirements, they are converted into a full time job. Part time pay is converted into full time salary. Salary for people who work 3 months or less is not taken into account.

Monitoring Protocol

a) During construction, information was collected from monthly reports that contractors turned in to Landsvirkjun and annual reports to Fjarðaál. In the long term, the human resources departments in Landsvirkjun and Fjarðaál collect this information.


a) The ratio between men and women shall be:

  • Landsvirkjun: 60% men and 40% women by 2021
  • Fjarðaál: 50% men and 50% women by 2025

b) Gender wage ratio:

  • Landsvirkjun: equal
  • Fjarðaál: equal

Possible countermeasures

The companies have issued human resources policies.

Changes to indicator and metrics

It was decided in the forth phase of the initiative to change the numbers of the sustainability indicators.  This indicator war originally number 2.1 and is referenced as 2.1 in early documents of the project.


Vísir 1.1 Grunnástand - a liður - enska

Rationale for Indicator Selection

Sustainability Indicator 1.1 aims for a gender-balanced workforce. The Central East Region has suffered from out-migration of younger members of the community who are drawn to the ‘pull' of educational and employment opportunities offered by the Capital Region.

Additionally, young workers, particularly females, are influenced by the ‘push' of low paying jobs in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as agriculture, fishing, and fish processing. Such an imbalance in gender is not indicative of a stable community.

The establishment of the Kárahnjúkar and Fjarðaál projects may assist in reducing the ‘push' from the Central East region and is likely to attract individuals to the area for its work opportunities. 

Further reading

On October 16 2013 Landsvirkjun was awarded the Gold standard by PWC for Wage Equality.  See news on Landsvirkjun website.