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Women the Vital Force, Soverato, Italy 15.6.2014
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Women the Vital Force, Soverato, Italy 15.6.2014

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  • 1. Women – the Vital Force! DISTRETTO SUD-OVEST Convegno distrettuale Soverato 15.6.2014 Tuulikki Juusela, BPW International President 1985-89
  • 2. 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 rights framework ”We all, men and women, need to ask ourselves what we can do for the women who bear the greatest responsibility for the world, and for the future,” Helvi Sipilä urged women in Beijing
  • 3. So True! “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 Famous Minna Canth from the 1880s
  • 4. Nordic countries 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
  • 5. Nordic strategy - comprehensive school system 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
  • 6. Is Finland 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 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 prohibited 1999 the principles of equality mainsteraming incorporated into the national employment programmes
  • 7. 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.
  • 8. Women`s Enterprise Agency Courses on entrepreneurship Start-Up counselling Info sessions Short notes and sessions Networking events Business mentoring State funding
  • 9. EMPOWERMENT 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. 6.3. 2014 marked 4 years since the launch of the WEP
  • 10. 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 and reporting practices
  • 11. Equality can be a plus the skills, knowledge and experience of both genders diversifies practices, makes product and service development more creative, and brings greater sensitivity to the anticipation of customer needs - better results
  • 12. 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 to men? What is the gender mix in your slate for senior roles? Is there a certain stage of career advancement that women seem to be “getting stuck” and not moving into leadership? Why?
  • 13. Women at top level The companies where women are most strongly represented at board or topmanagement level are also the companies that perform best sufficient participation of women
  • 14. Goal setting is a must Specific Measurable Challenging Realistic Time-limited Action-oriented Getting heard Looking and acting the part Focusing on the big picture
  • 15. 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.
  • 16. 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.
  • 17. “Generation Y” 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.
  • 18. Womenomics Refers to women as one of main engines of growth. Many economists say that women are one of the three emerging forces shaping the 21st century. The three “Ws”: Weather, Women and the Web
  • 19. 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
  • 20. Women - Mentoring it has been said that women in mentoring relationships have greater job satisfaction than women whitout mentors a mentor can significantly accelerate a woman’s professional development compared to that of women whitout mentors mentors are important in introducing women to the organization’s power structure, formal and informal. women may face different problems to men in mentoring relationships
  • 21. To become successful Executive Network-seize every opportunity Be visible-develop contacts and resources Develop your skills- skills inventory, specialization, new skills 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
  • 22. To become successful Executive Learn the corporate culture - fundamentals,ask questions Keep your eyes open-watch, listen, learn Attend to the home front-support, balancing work and family 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
  • 23. 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 archetype.” John Hagel III, cofounder Deloitte Center for the Edge, Deloitte United States
  • 24. 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)
  • 25. THANK YOU