For the 10th anniversary of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria:
A national survey shows that half of the Bulgarians think that the two genders aren’t equal professionally.
Through its initiatives, the organization continues to work for the development of women’s leadership, with an international forum coming up.
Half of the Bulgarians think that women and men aren’t equal in the professional arena, and by equality 27% understand equal rights, 19% – equal opportunities for development and realization on the labor market, 19% – no discrimination, 16% put equal pay as a criterion, and 14% say equal duties and responsibilities. This is shown by a national survey by the agency, Trend. The main results were presented at a media event dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria (CWBB). The organisation now unites more than 220 corporate, individual and associated members, including a large part of the country’s leading companies led by women. According to CWBB’s latest data, the turnover of the companies that are members of the organisation comprises about 15% of the annual GDP of the country.
“The presence of women in business is not only useful, it is necessary. Women bring unique skills, perspectives and experiences to the workplace. Skills that can help businesses succeed in today’s extremely challenging and changing environment,” pointed out Tsvetanka Mincheva, Chair of the CWBB Board and CEO of UniCredit Bulbank. According to her, one of the most important reasons for this is diversity. “Representing different perspectives and generally representing all the diverse forms of society – gender, ethnic origin, age, cultural and other differences – contributes to better decision-making and problem-solving. When women are part of the decision-making table, they bring in perspectives, new ideas and innovative solutions that help businesses think outside the box and make more informed decisions. Another reason for the presence of women is the pure business reason, or economic benefit. Women represent a huge part of the workforce, and many studies of large consulting companies show the effect of this inclusion,” she explained and reminded that last year CWBB, with the support of the European Investment Bank, organized and presented the first national awards for inspirational achievements in the country for diversity, equity and inclusion.
The results of the CWBB national survey, presented by Evelina Slavkova from the agency, Trend, show that the majority of the Bulgarians agree that men in the country are more easily reach high positions compared to women (64% of all respondents) and that women are rated lower than men (54% of respondents). Also, half of the Bulgarians believe that, in general, women have a more difficult career.
“As a major problem for the professional success of women, the respondents in our survey point out family obligations and those related to raising children, as well as the lack of access to the labor market, as well as desire and drive for success”, explained Evelina Slavkova. Interestingly, at the same time, 65% of respondents believe that in Bulgaria household duties are divided equally between men and women.
In the panel discussion, two of the CWBB co-founders, Dr. Eng. Boryana Manolova, member of CWBB’s Board and CEO of Siemens for Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Ukraine, and Maxim Mayer, manager of “BGLOBAL MEDIA EOOD, took part.
“When we started the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria 10 years ago, we knew that we were embarking on an ambitious task – to contribute to achieving true equality in our society and to encourage the professional development of women in our country. Even then, we were aware that this was not an ordinary project with a beginning and an end, but a long-term mission and cause that will require a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment,” revealed Dr. Eng. Boryana Manolova.
“Since the creation of CWBB, three significant changes have happened. First of all, there is now much more discussion about the role of women in the workplace in a constructive way. Secondly, CWBB from a fledgling organization, it became a driver of significant initiatives, and thirdly, CWBB members had an impressive development,” said Maxim Mayer. He described his involvement in the creation of CWBB as “one of the best ideas I’ve ever been involved in.”