On 26.12.2022, the online magazine E15 published an article about equal opportunities, the BPWRC and the Equal Pay Day conference it is preparing.
The 23rd place for the Czech Republic out of 27 countries of the European Union in the v Gender Equality Index, which is regularly published by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), is not flattering. It may seem that this topic does not bother us too much, because it is not popular in the Czech Republic, but it still significantly affects our presence and future.
However, this does not mean that it is fine to accept such a reality, because when we do not talk about something, it does not mean that it does not exist. The non-profit organization Business & Professional Women CR (BPWCR) is one of the organizations that is not afraid to open discussions and confront topics that we consider as normal part of our lives to the point that we forget about situations when we should not passively agree with, but actively go into change.
Since 2010, there has been an advocacy campaign on the topic of (un)equal remuneration of women and men (Gender Pay Gap) and whether we like it or not, women significantly more pay a price in the form of lower wages/salary just for being women. This is influenced by a number of stereotypes and prejudices that circulate around women’s work. They face obstacles in the labor market, they are less heard in the debate about how parenthood affects women in particular and their professional and personal lives. Flexible working conditions and conditions for reconciling work and family are often a marginal issue, which gained strength during the COVID pandemic, but the topic quickly faded away again. It’s almost no longer strange to us that female-dominated professions are generally lower paid and the current trend is even to almost blame women for entering such professions and taking home a lower wage/salary as a result.
This is also why BPWCR not only comments, but actively takes actions. The 14th annual Equal Pay Day conference is a place where the topic of (un)equal pay is discussed every year, but also every year it moves the debate to other important topics that have potential to bring positive changes.
Quality time spent
Equal Pay Day will take place from 31st of March to 2nd of April 2023 and in addition to the differences in pay of women and men, it will seek answers to questions such as: What POSITION and VOICE do women in the society have? To what extent are the voices of women and men who care about the voice of women and strengthening equal opportunities diversity heard? Why aren’t women visible in different professional roles, why aren’t their experiences, opinions and topics that have potential to develop the entire society visible? And as usual, it will bring experience of working with “women power” abroad. The Mentoring Day at Equal Pay Day has become a legend and the largest of its kind in the Czech Republic and in Europe.
The ESG includes also S
„One of the big topics that companies not only in the Czech Republic currently deal with is measuring sustainability and reporting of impact and social responsibility with the abbreviation ESG. Often, in an attempt to comply with the ESG criteria, companies focus on the E , which stands for Environmental, and may forget about the letter S, Social. Our projects focus on the „S“, which refers to people, employees, communities, men and women, because we realize that without people we can not support either E or G, the environment or the sustainable management of companies or the whole society,“ says Lenka Šťastná, President of Business & Professional Women CR.
The principle of equal opportunities is an important trend also for modern company culture, that’s why BPWCR as an ambassador brings a practical tool for businesses to move the topic forward; UN Global Compact project and UN WOMEN Women’s Empowerment Principles. The 7 principles show the direction in which it is possible to go for dealing the complex issues of supporting women and ultimately men to the extent that we will no longer have to discuss the topic of equal opportunities, fair culture and moving towards a modern concept of work life balance for everyone, but we will live this way completely naturally. The project is based on recognition that companies are jointly responsible for fair conditions throughout society.
How to increase the number of women in decision-making roles? Let’s support Startups!
The third pillar of the organization is the education of women in business. With significant support from the US Embassy in Prague, BPWCR has increased the sustainability of business plans for 90 women-led startups thanks to the US government’s global project- Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). Applications for the third year can be submitted until 31st of January 2023.
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