BPW Latvija – Riga, 20th Anniversary
20 years passed
Tuulikki Juusela, Past President of BPW
We are the women!
In Latvia 23 women are in the parlament
The current Speaker of the Saeima is Solvita Aboltina
In cabinet is 5 female ministers or women who have
posts similar to that of a minister.
Women have a higher level of education than men,
women earn less than men as an average
“We are smart, we are hard working and we know we are
doing good work, but we still find all sorts of reasons for
questioning whether we deserve more than we already
have. Women hope the world will figure out how brilliant
they are through their work, when in truth, it is their job
to get the word out."
”Even the most talented woman has a thousand
times more obstacles and difficulties in her path
than her male colleagues”- statement by
Minna Canth from the 1880s
Some historical remarks
Beijing Platform for Action adopted by all
189 countries at the UN Fourth
World Conference on Women in
1995 and the Millennium Declaration
adopted by 189 countries in 2000,
contribute to the overarching human
By having a strategic focus on supporting working
parents and dual income families, these countries
have the smallest gender gaps in terms of economic
empowerment and political
participation (World Economic Forum)
and boast some of the highest birth rates in Europe
as well as some of the most stable economies.
Nordic strategy - comprehensive
In 1921 universal compulsory education in Finland
93 % of Finns graduate from high school
The difference between weakest and strongest students is the
smallest in the world
43 % of high school students go to vocational school
• The school system is 100% state funded
Finland has same amount of teachers as New York city! All teachers
has to have a masters degree
Finland publishes more children's books than any other country
Over 50 per cent of the university students are female
Finland is one of the very best places in
which a woman could live ?
The first in Europe to gain the franchise
1972 the Council for Equality to advise lawmakers on methods for realizing
full legal equality for women
1973 the Act and Decree on Children’s Day Care
1983 Legislation: both parents were to have equal rights for custody of
their children, parental leave
1987 Legislation: forbidding any discrimination on the basis of sex and
providing protection against it
1995 Legislation: gender-based discrimination on the labour market
1999 the principles of equality mainsteraming incorporated into the
national employment programmes
The Finnish strategy, 4 components
Research and studies: ‘Female Leadership and Firm Profitability’ by the
Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA35 demonstrated that firms led by
women are more profitable (10-20%) than those led by men.
Corporate governance code: in2008 updated code 36 includes the
recommendation that ‘…both genders shall be represented on the board’. The
code is applicable to large listed companies.
Quick governmental action: government has set the right example by putting
forward a target of appointing at least 40% women on boards of state-owned
companies and achieving it quickly.
Active role of the media: the Finnish media have actively published both
positive stories of companies that made a difference and bad examples of
companies with all-male boards. This has put pressure on companies to make
the necessary changes and avoid negative publicity.
Women`s Empowerment Principles WEP
Guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community,
UNIFEM, part of UN Women and, the United Nations Global Compact
Empowerment means that people -
both women and men – can take control
over their lives: set their own agendas,
gain skills (or have their own skills
and knowledge recognized), increase
self-confidence, solve problems, and
develop self-reliance. It is both a process
and an outcome.
Women and men, individually
and collectively, challenge the routines,
conventions, laws, family forms, kinship
structures and taken-for-granted behaviors
that shape their lives – the accepted forms of
power and how these are perpetuated.
Women and men form new
relations with other social actors, form coalitions
and develop mutual support in order to negotiate,
be agents of change, alter structures and so
realize rights, dignity and livelihood security
Gender diversity and business outcome
In Europe, of 89 publicly traded companies
with a market capitalization of over
150 million pounds, those with more
women in senior management and on
the board had, on average, more than
10 percent higher return on equity than
those companies with the least percentage
of women in leadership.
Why get businessworld involved
Gender diversity helps business perform
better signals that self interest and common
interest can come together
Through ”gender lens” business can survey
and analyze current practices, benchmarks
Enterprise Development, Supply Chain and
Expand business relationships with women-owned enterprises,
including small businesses, and women entrepreneurs.
Support gender-sensitive solutions to credit and lending
Ask business partners and peers to respect the company’s
commitment to advancing equality and inclusion.
Respect the dignity of women in all marketing and other
Ensure that company products, services and facilities are not
used for human trafficking and/or labour or sexual exploitation.
SMEs in Europe
are the main engine of growth and employment and they
harbour enormous potential for job creation.
There are 23 million SMEs in Europe, accounting for
more than 75 million jobs and over 80% of employment in
certain sectors, such as textiles,
construction and furniture.
Key points of advice
Quota legislation has proven to be the most effective tool to accelerate board
diversity and reach meaningful levels of women’s representation on companies’
boards. It should therefore be encouraged widely.
Data collection and benchmarking about the numbers of women on boards
create transparency and make it possible to track progress and backlog.
Countries in which those data are not yet available are encouraged to take
Best practices on corporate governance codes need to be shared,
especially in countries where the debate has not started yet. Involvement of the
private sector is crucial and can be the precursor to significant change without
Women’s organizations need to (continue to) play an active role to support the
debate on gender balance in corporate boards.
The Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men
Equal economic independence for women and men
Reconciliation of private and professional life
Equal representation in decision-making
Eradication of all forms of gender-based violence
Elimination of gender stereotypes
Elimination of gender stereotypes in education, training and culture
Elimination of gender stereotypes in the labour market
Elimination of gender stereotypes in the media
Promotion of gender equality in external and development policies
Building a diverse workforce
What is the representation of women at the bottom,
middle, and top levels of your organization?
What is the gender mix of your senior leadership?
What leadership roles do women occupy relative
What is the gender mix in your slate for senior
Is there a certain stage of career advancement
that women seem to be “getting stuck” and not
moving into leadership? Why?
Equality means business, Principles in
Establish high-level corporate leadership
for gender equality.
Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect
and support human rights and nondiscrimination.
Ensure the health, safety and well-being
of all women and men workers.
Promote education, training and professional
development for women.
Implement enterprise development, supply chain
and marketing practices that empower women.
Promote equality through community initiatives
Measure and publicly report on progress
to achieve gender equality.
We, business leaders from across the globe, express support for
advancing equality between women and men to:
Bring the broadest pool of talent to our endeavours;
Further our companies’ competitiveness;
Meet our corporate responsibility and sustainability
Model behaviour within our companies that reflects the society
we would like for our employees, fellow citizens and families;
Encourage economic and social conditions that provide
opportunities for women and men, girls and boys; and
Foster sustainable development in the countries in which we
”I am passionate about gender diversity issues and parental
challenges. To me this is the change management project companies
(including ours) have to undertake with renewed energy.
Why? First of all, because companies need to empower their
female personnel or run the risk of losing them. Second, because
women clients are more likely to be convinced of companies’
products and services when they are presented or delivered by
a gender-mixed team.”
- Eric Dugelay, Partner, Deloitte France
Avon – best practise
“With more than six million independent Sales Representatives in
100 countries – largely women-- and women in 55% of management
positions, Avon is committed to leading on women’s issues. The
company’s mission statement is to be the company for women. We
are therefore very proud to be an initial signatory in support of the
Women’s Economic Principles, which are critical to driving the
rightful advancement of women around the world.”
- Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO, Avon Products, Inc.
Future - feminine!
“The future belongs to
those of us, female or
male, who can adopt
and embrace the feminine
John Hagel III,
cofounder Deloitte Center
for the Edge, Deloitte United States
Refers to women as one of main engines
Many economists say that women are
one of the three emerging forces shaping
the 21st century.
The three “Ws”:
Weather, Women and the Web
To become successful Executive
Network-seize every opportunity
Be visible-develop contacts and resources
Develop your skills- skills inventory, specialization,
Have a plan- re-evaluate also
Keep up with the times-trends in the economy and
in your industry
Go online-power of Internet, access to knowledge
Do your homework-identify companies with
policies for women
To become successful Executive
Learn the corporate culture -
Keep your eyes open-watch, listen, learn
Attend to the home front-support, balancing work
Collect experience-even lateral moves
Get a mentor-female or male
Be personable- peers can influence a career
Keep your eyes on your goal-stay focused, admit
to the mistake, move on
Networking is a prime component
In the future, information is power
The larger your Network, the better your chance of
finding out exactly what you need to know
Knowing whom to call is almost as good as knowing!
Networkers can accumulate influence or power by
control of information and, of course, by learning
will move not only among jobs, but also among careers through their
working lives, reinventing themselves many times over;
for them, technology is not a tool but a part of what they are (as shown
by their use of social networking and web 2.0 technologies);
they want challenges and development opportunities from work, but also
choice and flexibility in order to accommodate their personal lives;
they value employers who demonstrate a responsible approach to
society and to environment.
An empowered woman has
Notions of self-worth and dignity (individual).
Bodily integrity; freedom from coercive forces over a woman’s
very body (individual and structure).
Control and influence over household and public resources
(structure and relations).
Experience with or appreciation of the value of collective
effort and solidarity among women (relations).
The Empowered Woman
by Sonny Carroll
She moves through the world
with a sense of confidence and grace.
Her once reckless spirit now tempered by wisdom.
Quietly, yet firmly, she speaks her truth without doubt or hesitation
and the life she leads is of her own creation.
She now understands what it means to live and let live.
How much to ask for herself and how much to give.
She has a strong, yet generous heart
The one thing she never understood,
she now knows to be true,
it all begins and ends with you.
Future - feminine!
“We must have the courage
to look far into the future”
Helle Kannila, Finland
“The future belongs to those of us, female or
male, who can adopt and embrace the feminine
John Hagel III, Deloitte United States
You Can Be Whatever You Want To Be
”There is inside you all of the potential to be whatever you want
to be - all of the energy to do whatever you want to do.
Imagine yourself as you would like to be, doing what you
want to do, and each day, take one step towards your dream.
And though at times it may seem too difficult to continue,
hold on to your dream. One morning you will awake to find
that you are the person you dreamed of - doing what you
wanted to do - simply because you had the courage to
believe in your potential and to hold on to your dream”
by Donna Levine