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Press release: The International Equal Pay Day Conference Will Take Place for the Fifteenth Time this April

The main theme of the two-day event to raise awareness of the pay gap and the status of women in society will be Opportunity.

15 February 2024, PragueOn 11 and 12 of April 2024 Prague will host the 15th international conference Equal Pay Day (EPD), the largest of its kind in Europe and the only one in the Czech Republic on the topic of equal opportunities and unequal pay. In this area, we are still among the bottom performers on the European continent – women are paid on average 17.7% less than men. This is why we need to be constantly reminded of this common social issue. The two-day event will feature dozens of Czech and international speakers from the ranks of female and male experts, top corporate executives, HR managers, as well as personalities from the public sphere and diplomacy, and attracts hundreds of women and men each year. Barbora Kroužková will be the guide for this year’s edition with the theme Opportunity.

The conference is organized by Business & Professional Women CR (BPWCR), a non-profit organization that has been promoting women’s economic independence since 2010 and conducts a year-long campaign and awareness-raising on the topic of equal pay and the status of women and men in society.
Unfortunately, according to many national and international indicators, the Czech Republic is still not able to fully utilise the potential and talent of women, therefore there remains an opportunity for change. Women are not a minority, even if it looks like it in some positions, in the media or in politics. As a rule, society treats women differently from men, and the question is whether and how this situation benefits society and the economy. For example, a McKinsey study from 2021 suggests that better use of women’s economic potential could increase the GDP of the Czech Republic (and Slovakia) by around 8% by 2030.

“Over the last 15 years, the situation in fair pay has improved, but other EU countries are tackling the problem much faster, which is why we remain at the bottom of international comparisons. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, but the fact we have so few women in decision-making positions is a very significant factor and needs to be addressed. This conference is a platform to discuss the next steps towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to realise their talents without hindrance. It provides an excellent chance to break down the stereotypes that limit us, an invitation to change our perspective, an offer to talk openly about our experiences in creating conditions for equal opportunities for women and men,” says Lenka Št’astná, President of BPWCR. The good news, according to her, is that the number of companies that are leading by example and initiating change is growing.

The general partner of this year’s EPD has become Philip Morris ČR, which is one of the top employers in the region employing almost 1,300 people. It holds a number of awards such as the prestigious EQUAL-SALARY certification, which confirms equal approach to remuneration. For more than thirty years, it has significantly supported charitable projects.

“An open working environment offering equal opportunities and fair treatment, attractive job opportunities or career development at home and abroad, as well as a unique approach to parenting support is in our DNA. We know that the success of our business also depends on how we can harness the potential of diverse people, women, men, people from different cultures, different ages. We see that as a strong company, a market leader, we have the opportunity and the means to change things in the right direction to inspire others. Therefore, it is natural for us to join our efforts with a strong partner like the Equal Pay Day project,” says Joseph Gruber, P&C Director CZ, SK, HU of Philip Morris.

For the 12th year, the main media partner is Nova TV, where diversity and inclusiveness are crucial pillars of the corporate culture. “We are pleased to be a media partner of the Equal Pay Day conference, which we have long supported. Equal opportunities and fair pay are fundamental for us, and we believe that by working together we can contribute to the development of a society based on fairness and justice, and at the same time towards a better future where everyone has a chance to succeed,” sums up the motivation of TV Nova’s Director of Human Resources Management Matej Šemšej, who also spoke at last year’s conference.

The conference will be hosted by journalist Barbora Kroužková, who currently works as a moderator of the main news programme ČT24 Události and also Události, komentáře. She is also known for her involvement in public service activities and last year received the Donors Forum Award for Journalists for her contribution to philanthropy. “Women in many of our positions still have lower salaries than men. It is unacceptable that women have to work 60 days longer to achieve the same result. This inequality has many causes and needs to be exposed, called out, and eliminated. That is why I was delighted to accept the offer to moderate this year’s 15th Equal Pay Day conference. It is a very important topic that should be addressed by the state, certainly by every employer and of course by each of us,” says Barbora Kroužková.

The main visual for this year’s campaign was created by creative agency VML, based on the Equal Pay Day logo with its dominant red colour, which is used to denote economic losses.

Media contact:

Klára Smolová, PR and Communications Director, tel.: 777 032 579,