News

Poland among the leaders in gender equality on the labour market. The key role in bridging the gap between men’s and women’s earnings is played by start-ups

2018-06-13  |  05:00
Says:Luigi Amati
Function:Chairman of Business Angels Europe

The earnings of women working in the same positions as men are lower, they are less willing to start their own companies and less often perform managerial roles. This is a global problem faced by the largest world economies. In Poland, despite the fact that managerial positions are in 40% occupied by women, their earnings are much lower than those of men. Together with the spreading popularity and significance of start-ups, it is easier for women to enter the labour market and find their way to sectors which previously were considered to be typically male. This is facilitated by the numerous competitions organised for women’s start-ups and a growing number of women performing the roles of business angels.

“The presence of women on the start-up market is growing, although the rate could still be higher. The critical time for women to take up the challenge is the age between 25 and 35. The major obstacle to be overcome are unequal opportunities in comparison to men, in particular in this crucial period of their lives,” Luigi Amati,  told the Newseria Innowacje news agency during the InfoShare 2018 conference in Gdańsk.

In Iceland the authorities decided to deal with the problem of inequality on the job market in a quite radical way. At the beginning of this year a law was passed prohibiting any discrimination of employees, including with respect to gender. Companies employing more than 25 people are obligated to submit documents confirming that men and women working in the same positions receive equal earnings. If an audit shows that a given company does not have the required certificate, it will be charged with a high fine.

“There are many successful start-ups run by women. The trend is becoming increasingly discernible. The more women become business angels, the more investments will be made in companies managed by women. This is not to say that men who are business angels invest only in companies run by men, but a certain trend can be observed here,” the expert emphasised.

The Economist, the British daily, every year publishes the glass ceiling index, which is a ranking of countries specifying the degree of gender equality on the job market. In Poland 40 percent of managerial positions are taken by women, which makes Poland rank fourth, following the United States, Iceland and Hungary.

Despite that, disproportions in men's and women's earnings are still high. According to the Nationwide Earnings Survey in 2017 women earned by 19 percent less than men working in the same positions. What's more, 70 percent of entrepreneurs are not planning to introduce programmes to mitigate gender-related pay differences.

Trade

Polish consumers are more satisfied than Americans, with the customer satisfaction level being close to 80 percent

For six years the customer satisfaction index in Poland has grown by over 17 percentage points to nearly 78 percent, and it currently exceeds the customer satisfaction levels recorded in the USA and the United Kingdom. Service quality and its growing significance among businesses have had a tremendous impact on customer satisfaction. For the eleventh time the Customer Service Quality Star titles have been awarded to entrepreneurs recording the best results in this field.

Defence

Polish defence industry exhibits a significant growth potential. Polish army equipment tenders open huge prospects to companies.

As assessed by Krzysztof Krystowski, Deputy President of the Board of Leonardo Helicopters, the company which owns PZL-Świdnik, the Polish army and defence industry should undergo simultaneous modernisation. The participation of domestic entities in the army equipment tenders announced by the Ministry of National Defence (MON) is a huge opportunity. Given the scale and complexity of such contracts, their implementation will be based on strict cooperation between various Polish companies, with the potential cooperation between PZL-Świdnik and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group) in building a combat helicopter being an accurate example.

Technologies

Polish secondary-school students working on a smart-home app for people with disabilities

More and more devices are becoming part of the ‘smart home’ concept. No longer limited to TVs or tablets, they now also include laundry machines, vacuum cleaners and even refrigerators. New ways to communicate with household appliances connected to the Internet are currently being brought to us by voice assistants. Now all that it takes to turn on the TV or switch between channels is a single voice command. A group of secondary-school students from Poland have decided to try and merge the ‘smart home’ concept with voice controllability. ‘DAREK’, the project they’re working on, is addressed to disabled users to help them move around the house. Using voice control, not only will they be able to open the door or roll the blinds down but even stock up the fridge.