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Radisson RED Brussels

35 Idaliestraat

1050 Elsene

Belgium

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Gender equality : still an issue for women at work ?

Gender equality is an EU fundamental value, embed in the Treaty as from the very beginning of the European construction (i.e. the Treaty of Rome includes a provision on equal pay). Over the years, further developments, targets and actions have nourished this notion and its implementation within EU Member States. Despite progress in various fields (such as employment of women, measures to ease access to childcare facilities, development of flexible working solutions) the situation is highly variable throughout the EU and some huge challenges remain: unfair career advancement, pay and pension gap, rights and social inequalities, gender sharing out of unpaid jobs and care distribution,… to name a few.

It is worth noting that acting in such challenging fields would have positive consequences on organisations (notably companies) and the society in general. A recent EIGE study reveals that “a more gender equal EU would have strong, positive GDP impacts growing over time, higher level of employment and productivity and could respond to challenges related to the ageing population in the EU. By 2050, improving gender equality would lead to an increase in EU (GDP) per capita by 6.1 to 9.6%, which amounts to €1.95 to €3.15 trillion.”[1]

It seems therefore useful to open the debate on the remaining obstacles for a proper implementation of measures to tackle gender equality, and notably the one related to the conciliation of work and social life which is currently debated due to the recent release by the European Commission of the Initiative to support work-life balance for working parents and carers.

The next Policies and Practices’ session will specifically address the following questions:

- the remaining challenges to tackle gender equality at the workplace and possible ways to answer them (notably through practical examples) and the WLB package

- the visibility and recognition of the returns on investment on gender equality: how to reinforce them to promote the necessity to act?

- the stakeholders to be involved to face such a societal challenge



[1] EIGE, Economic benefits of gender equality in the European Union, Improving gender equality has many positive impacts on individuals and also on the society at large, 2017, http://eige.europa.eu/gender-mainstreaming/policy-areas/economic-and-financial-affairs/economic-benefits-gender-equality


*Quotation from WHO website http://www.who.int/occupational_health/topics/workplace/en/

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Radisson RED Brussels

35 Idaliestraat

1050 Elsene

Belgium

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