Stakeholders & Gender
What are the main challenges of gender equality in Europe?
Gender equality in the workplace is the major challenge in our world for now but also for the near future.
The context of insecurity related to the global warming, the economic crisis, geopolitical goals, terrorism, etc. confront our generation with its responsibilities and companies become the key actors for change.
To change this context, we need to change our system of governance, organization and especially thought.
Indeed the world was organized on a unisex system, based on male values.
Now in such a troubled period we have no choice but to change. And who better to bring a new point of view, than women?
In terms of gender equality, we face two major challenges in Europe.
As Simone de Beauvoir wrote: “Just a crisis for the risk of a step backward”.
The first challenge is not to lose all the gains achieved by women in accessing decision making roles.
The second challenge, is the implementation of a new system of governance and organization of society which takes into account the complementary aspirations of women and those of the new generation: a good balance between professional and private life and a real sense of purpose to their lives.
Gender equality policies are, in my mind, the best way to start the changes we need at the global and local levels.
What advice would you suggest to L’Oréal as they continue to manage gender diversity?
L’Oréal has always supported our various’ projects and we would like to continue the collaboration on projects such as “Courte Echelle”. The project consists of creating links between young girls in high school and working women in order to help the girls with the orientation of their careers.
This project was launched in 2004 in France, under the patronage of Simone Veil and after 10 years of development, big companies like L’Oréal could be our best partners to bring the project to an international level.
This could be the way to break stereotypes and to create new models carrying values regarding solidarity and modernity, values that our world desperately needs.
Learn more: http://www.arborus.org/
What are the main challenges of gender equality in UK ?
The main challenges seems to be converting intentions into activities that drive long term sustainable solutions to this issue.
The issue lies mainly with the top management and HR teams rather than all levels of an organization … More support on “how to” deliver results to this problem is required.
What advice would you suggest to L’Oréal as they continue to manage gender diversity in the UK?
- Be more of a stand out role model organization, inspiring others to do more to address the key issues, including gender balance
- Participate in the networks available to share their learning and help to drive positive change
- Encourage more of your male and female leaders from all diverse backgrounds to attend leadership events and gain better access and knowledge on how to be better and more effective leaders through ownership of talent and people management …
- L’Oréal can help support more organizations outside of STEM on this agenda…. look to this to promote the brand
Founder and Chair
An Inspirational Journey
What are the main challenge(s) of gender equality ?
The 2015 edition of the “Women Thrive” report, conducted by EDGE in partnership with Mercer, highlights the fact that while Europe saw in the recent years encouraging progress in workplace gender equality, such progress appears to be the result of an ad-hoc focus on hiring women at the top rather than a systemic change in the way organizations manage a diverse pool of talent. Success in building diversity requires a focus, throughout career levels, on talent acquisition, development, and retention. Neither short-term priority at the top nor concentration on a single workforce flow will drive sustainable change. Unless organizations eliminate underlying, systemic barriers to the progress of women, progress will wane and current efforts will become self-defeating.
How do you work with L’Oréal ?
EDGE is working with different countries of the L’Oréal group:
- Analyzing the gender balance at different career levels, how men and women move in a different or similar way through their careers as well as to understand the underlying causes of such a dynamic
- Benchmarking current performance and creating a tailor-made action plan for improvement with at short, medium and long term.
- Providing global independent recognition through the EDGE Certification as a gender “enlightened” organization.
What advice would you suggest to L’Oréal as they continue to manage of gender diversity ?
Firstly, it is extremely important to maintain its double focus on attracting more male talents at the entry level while improving the representation of female talents at the top and in key P&L responsibility roles. At the same time, perhaps the most important aspect of a successful diversity strategy is to keep prioritizing those programmes that will be most impactful in the given context.
Aniela Unguresan is the co-founder of the EDGE Certified Foundation, a Swiss based foundation that runs the first global gender certification to companies with gender enlightened workplace policies.