“The benefits of overcoming gender stereotypes in SMEs: Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategy ”. Break Gender Stereotypes, Give Talent a Chance Brussels, 27 November 2008 Helen Hoffmann, UEAPME Social Policy Adviser. Outline.
“The benefits of overcoming gender stereotypes in SMEs: Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategy”Break Gender Stereotypes, Give Talent a ChanceBrussels, 27 November 2008 Helen Hoffmann, UEAPMESocial Policy Adviser
European Association of Crafts, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
99% of all companies in the EU are SMEs and 92% are micro enterprises with fewer than 10 employees
UEAPME is European Social Partner
UEAPME negotiates and signs agreements and various types of tools, e.g. Framework of Actions
> Gender equality legislation Article 13 of EC Treaty
- Lisbon strategy & key business and competitive issues:
> Need to increase participation of women in the labour market
> SMEs are central to the strategy as biggest net job creator
> Lack of skilled workers (due to demographic change, rapid technological changes, high growth of certain sectors etc)
> Battle for companies to access and retain the best qualified workers,
particularly difficult for SMEs, as limited financial & human resources.
> Equal opportunities employer, makes an employer more attractive for employees
> Enhances staff motivation and reduces absenteeism
> Positive image of employer in local community – CSR reasons
> More customers and increased customer satisfaction
> Innovation and creativity! Real competitive edge
>Equal recruitment job titles and descriptions
>Training and development
>Job evaluation and classification
>Supportive measures to reconcile work and family life
>Essential: Support and information through professional networks, e.g. education and guidance bodies and SME employers’ federations.
1. Need to tackle gender stereotypes as early as possible with the support of families and schools, as strongly influenced already before entering the labour market.
2. Multitude of factors: Requires a shared responsibility by all and sustained information & awareness raising.
3. From a business perspective: Undeniable and a growing business case for identifying & overcoming gender stereotypes in companies and integrating gender equality in a business strategy
4. Social partners and companies play an important role in furthering & guaranteeing equal opportunities for women and men across the board: in recruitment, work, vocational training, promotion and reconciliation policies.