Norway wealth fund CEO denies pay discrimination in case by female employee
By Victoria Klesty
OSLO (Reuters) – The chief executive of Norway’s $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, Nicolai Tangen, on Tuesday denied accusations of gender pay discrimination at the fund during a court case brought by a female employee.
Elisabeth Bull Daae, head of trading analytics at Norges Bank Investment Management, is suing the unit of the central bank that manages the fund for 16 million crowns ($1.5 million) in compensation and damages.
Daae said she was paid less than her male colleagues doing equivalent jobs for a decade, a claim firmly rejected by the fund.
“We don’t discriminate on pay. There are no differences linked to gender,” Tangen told the court.
He said there were differences in the level of responsibility between roles that involve making investment decisions – roles to a larger extent filled by men – and those that do not.
“The pay in those two categories is very different in the labour market and we have to adapt to that,” he said.
Taking responsibility for investments is a completely different job, involving more stress and work rarely confined to office hours, he said. Those in roles with less pressure, he added, should not demand equivalent levels of pay.
Tangen said the fund’s organisation had done its utmost to solve the conflict and avoid going to court, but that Daae had rejected all offers proposed by the fund, where she still works.
One offer involved two years’ salary paid to Daae, a one-year project at the fund, extra training and taking Tangen’s services as a consultant should she wish to set up her own business.
($1 = 10.7537 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Victoria Klesty; Editing by Conor Humphries)