Break the glass ceiling: tools for social and conventional enterprises

March 2016
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Under the Gender Balance Power Map project, seven organisations from six European countries have joined forces to better understand professional gender equality in small and medium enterprises. The project partners thus publish a Guide of best practices and recommendations with the aim of facilitating women's access to decision-making positions in companies from both the conventional and the social economy.

The low representation of women in economic decision-making positions is a missed opportunity and a challenge for companies, countries and the European Union as a whole. While women represent 60% of the graduates, statistics continue to show that women are too often faced with a glass ceiling in their careers.

The Best Practices Guide focuses on small and medium enterprises from both the conventional and the social economy sectors for which women’s activity data is rather poor. Even though SMEs represent the vast majority of employers on the continent (99.8% of all EU28 enterprises in 2014), policy measures and indicators mainly focus on the biggest corporate boards.

With the publication of their Best Practices Guide, the Gender Balance Power Map partners aim to support the engagement of women in leading positions and in entrepreneurship by providing new instruments for companies to fight against the gender disparity.

From talent programmes, to the certification of companies who have implemented measures for work-life balance or new work pratices, the Guide puts forward inspiring practices and policy recommendations to be set up in order to concretize, in Europe, our values of gender equality.