Raising the awareness of companies about combating gender stereotypes: Add Value, Break Stereotypes - AVBS

  • Overall project value (EUR): 1,070,586
  • Date: 2007/2008 (12 months)
  • Scale of the investigations: 15 EU countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.
  • Contract title: “Raising the awareness of companies about combating gender stereotypes”
  • Contract no: EC – DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities”, Contracting Authority, PROGRESS: Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity DG EMPL/G/1 Service Contract VC/2007/0350.
  • Coordinator: International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO, Italy - www.itcilo.org)
  • Direct partners and collaborating institutions involved:

Description of the investigations, studies and activities:

The project has been designed in response to a Call for Tenders financed by the EU PROGRESS Programme which, among other objectives, aims to support the implementation of the “EU Roadmap to gender equality”. In addition, the project is meant to contribute to the strategic priorities agreed by the European Social Partners Framework for Action for Gender Equality (2005).

The project’s overall objective is to help private sector companies, in particular SMEs and in all sectors, to better understand the socio-economic benefits of combating gender stereotypes, and ultimately improve their ability to act and eliminate gender-based discrimination at the workplace.

Main Activities:

1. An information campaign targeted at private sector companies, in 15 EU countries, through a network of institutions (EuroChambres, FEM and AFAEMME) which have direct professional contact with private sector companies and their women’s branches.

2. A series of sensitization workshops targeted to SME intermediaries (“relays”) in 15 EU countries. The workshops will aim at sensitizing SME relays on the use of a training and information kit on gender sensitive business management practices. This capacity building process should ultimately enable private sector companies to take effective measures to combat gender stereotypes as a “good business practice”.

Expected results

By the end of 2008, a training and awareness-raising campaign on the why and how to combat gender stereotypes in small and medium sized companies will have been developed, adapted, advertised and implemented in 15 EU - EFTA countries. At least 300 “relay” agents will have been trained and be able to disseminate the training kit at national level. Some 10 small and medium-sized European companies will also have pilot –tested the measures and tools proposed in the training kit.

More specifically, by the end of the project span (12 months), the project will have operated and produced deliverables in 5 Result Areas, as follows.

Result Area 0: Project management and international coordination. The Project Steering Committee will give the main directions of the project’s strategy. To further ensure quality, a QA (Quality Assurance) group, external advisory group of 4 national and international experts from relevant bodies and organizations operating in the field gender issues, SMEs and the academia, will validate the project activities and products.

Result Area 1: Review of national gender segregation patterns and stereotypes in SMEs in selected productive sectors in 15 EU countries. The surveys will give indications on gender issues in SMEs, local legislative and regulatory frameworks, good practices and concrete elements for the development of awareness raising and capacity building tools.

Result Area 2: Information campaign to reach business support institutions, SMEs owners and employees, as well as public and labour institutions related to the SMEs sectors in 15 EU countries through the use of inter-active and innovative media.

Result Area 3: Sensitization workshops for SMEs intermediary institutions (The “business case for gender equality”). A toolkit for gender-sensitive SMEs development practices and instruments for analysis, planning and budgeting from a gender perspective within SMEs will be developed and 300 relays will be trained on how to use it. The Toolkit will be adapted and translated to meet the needs of the participating countries.

Result Area 4: Dissemination of the training and information Kit in SMEs by local relays and Chambers of Commerce in 15 EU countries. Pilot-test in a selected group of pilot SMEs will be implemented to assess if gender stereotypes (and their elimination) have an impact on profit and welfare.

Result Area 5: Dissemination of the project’s results. The experiences, good practices and resources generated by the initiative are shared among the 15 participating countries and the toolkit for “business case for breaking gender stereotypes” is disseminated among all stakeholders.