Over 60% of Bulgarians think that there should be more women in management positions in business

A CWBB survey conducted by the TREND sociological agency outlined the attitudes towards gender equality in the business environment

The majority of Bulgarians believe that there should be more women in leadership positions in business. This is shown by the results of a nationally representative survey commissioned by the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria (CWBB). The survey was conducted between March 2 and 9, 2021 by the sociological agency TREND, and its purpose is to outline the main attitudes towards the place of women in business and entrepreneurship.

According to 61% of respondents it would be good for more women in high positions to participate in business. 84% of women share this opinion. At the same time, 44% of women surveyed believe that there are not enough women in leadership positions. In the youngest aged 18-29 years – the so-called Generation Z, 69% support the idea of ​​more women in management positions.

Bulgarians aged 30-39 (40%) and those with high incomes over BGN 2,000 (46%) are the groups of respondents who strongly believe that we have gender equality as well as equality of career opportunities. At the same time, the overall results of the survey show that 43% of our compatriots believe that there is no such equality. This statement is supported by 56% of women and only 29% of men. The highest share of people – 51%,  is in the age group 50-59 according to which women and men in business are not equal. The tendency that there is a significant difference between the share of people with such an opinion according to place of residence is also alarming. In small towns 47% believe that there is no equality, and in Sofia – 34%.

Dr. Eng. Boryana Manolova, Chairperson of the Board of CWBB, said:The fact that young and active people in Bulgaria increasingly recognize the role of women in business as important and necessary is a cause for optimism. The initiatives that we are developing in the Women’s Council are precisely for this purpose – to support the career development of women with knowledge, skills and ambitions for success in entrepreneurship and business. The study also outlines worrying trends, but I believe that with our activities in support of women’s personal career growth, we contribute to the development of public thinking and speaking on this topic. I am convinced that with appropriate support policies in the business environment our society can achieve a greater balance between men and women in leadership positions, which will have a positive impact at all levels. “

Evelina Slavkova, TREND sociological agency, commented: Among the survey data it is notable that the majority of Bulgarians do not have specific proposals on what would help increase women’s participation in business, such as policies and assistance. Respondents focus mostly on what personal qualities women must possess or develop in order to succeed. This is a clear sign that there is a need for more dialogue and more active action on the subject to achieve positive change. “

More than half (59%) of Bulgarians do not agree that business is a territory reserved for men. The largest percentage of supporters of this thesis are women – 78%, while 52% of men are of the opposite opinion. In the age category of Generation Z (18-29), as many as 70% are adamant that business is not just for men. For 55% of the respondents it is not proper for management positions to be held only by men. TREND’s analysis shows that as the age of the respondents increases, a smaller part supports this statement. The youngest (18-29 years old) are the strongest for gender equality in business – 62%, as well as women – 77%, while among men of the opposite opinion the share of men is significantly higher (58%).

At the same time, the data show that 60% of Bulgarians believe that men can more easily develop their career in business than women. 66% of men and 55% of women agree. More than two-thirds (71%) of respondents disagree that “women do not have the necessary qualities to be entrepreneurs / businessmen” is not true. The most obvious disagreement with this statement is among people with higher education, where 65% do not share this opinion. When asked whether “men are better professionals than women”, 31% of Bulgarians agree and 56% do not share this thesis. Respondents with higher education largely disagree with this statement – 66%. There is a significant difference between the opinions according to the gender of the respondents – 81% of women do not agree with this, while for men only 29% do not share this opinion.

Just under half of Bulgarians (49%) believe that policies are needed to support women’s participation in business. Every fourth Bulgarian (25%) does not think that such policies are necessary. Of those who indicated that there is no need for policies to support women’s participation in business, the highest share is reported for men – 38%. At the same time, Bulgarians are rather skeptical of the so-called quota principle (a certain number) for men and women in the workplace. 28% have a positive attitude and 41% have a negative attitude.

When asked what would help the participation and development of more women in business in Bulgaria, most respondents indicated in the first place raising qualifications and professional competence (8%). 4% – Bulgarian women should be more emancipated, 4% are those who indicated that they should be given more opportunities and vote of confidence. 3% believe that public prejudices about women’s participation in business should be removed or broken, and that women should be more ambitious and enterprising. A very high share (54%) state that they do not know / cannot judge.

About the study:

The survey “Women in Business” was conducted at the initiative of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria by the sociological Agency TREND in the period between 2 and 9 March 2021 among 1009 adult Bulgarian citizens. It was conducted using the “face to face” method, through the method of direct semi-standardized interview and is representative of the adult population of the country. The maximum allowable stochastic error is +/- 3.4%.

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