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“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.

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“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


Outline l.jpg
Outline Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategy

  • Role of the European Social Partners & Framework of Actions on Gender Equality

  • SME perspective: The business case for overcoming gender stereotypes – why does it matter?

  • Integrating gender equality in a business strategy


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UEAPME Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategy

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

http://www.ueapme.com


Eu social partner tool part i framework of actions on gender equality l.jpg
EU Social Partner tool – part I Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategyFramework of actions on gender equality

  • Adopted in March 2005

  • Contribution to the Lisbon Strategy

  • A practice-oriented instrument, based on case studies

  • A tool by social partners for social partners

  • Assessment of the current situation + integrated strategies for gender equality on the labour market

  • Provisions on the follow-up:

    • Supported by 3 annual follow-up reports

    • One final evaluation report in 2009.


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EU Social Partner tool – part II Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategyFramework of actions on gender equality

  • 4 Priorities for action at national level according to national situation

    • Addressing gender roles on the labour market

    • Promoting women in decision-making

    • Supporting work-life balance

    • Tackling the gender pay gap


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SME perspective: The business case Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategyfor overcoming gender stereotypes - Part I

  • From an SME perspective gender equality needs to be taken seriously for a number of reasons:

    - Legislation:

    > 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.


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SME perspective: The business case for Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategyovercoming gender stereotypes - Part II

  • Gender mix in workforce, both women and men across the hierarchy, important for productivity in male or female dominated sectors and professions:

    > 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


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Integrating gender equality in a Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategybusiness strategy

  • Integrate gender equality in business management and performance as part of a formalised HR strategy:

    >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.


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Conclusions Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategy

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.


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Thank you for your attention! Giving talent a chance as a sound business strategy

Helen Hoffmann

Social Policy Adviser

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel: +32-(0)2 230 75 99

Fax:+32 (0)22307861

www.ueapme.com


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