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Collaboration between the public and private sectors – Opening up opportunities for gender equality in workplaces

Why should we do it?

       According to statistics, the female workforce in Taiwan ROC begin to drop after reaching its peak at the age of 25 and 29. A report by the McKinsey Global Institute in 2018 emphasizes that the biggest driving force for economic growth will come from countries with higher increases in the rate of women in the workforce. Different countries should implement different measures to help women join the workforce, including changing the stereotypes of female roles and promoting childcare mechanisms.

       Taipei City signed and joined the Cities for CEDAW Campaign in March 2016, becoming the first non-American city to do so. In February 2018, Mayor Ko Wen-je mentioned that he will promote the Gender Equality Project and Gender Equality Seal for Public and Private Organizations in the European Parliament. Being the first city to announce gender equality index in Asia, it is hoped that the implementation of the Gender Equality Index for Workplaces on December 2017 will help enterprises to review and improve the conditions of gender equality in them gradually. Consolidating management measures with a consciousness of gender equality will help retain talented people and promote competitiveness.
Who should do it? How to do it?

       The consolidation of gender equality in workplaces and the consciousness of human rights in society requires the joint participation of the government, academia, enterprises, and elites. Our department has invited representatives from industry, academia, and trade unions since the stipulation of the gender equality index. After 4 meetings, each of which is chaired by Commissioner Lai Hsiang-Lin, the draft of the seven gender equality indices was made. Presentations were held to explain them to enterprises, totaling 116 businesses in the conference, in August 2018. Then, 2 challenge camps for gender equality in workplaces were held in November in the same year. Professor Wang Li-rong of National Taiwan University and Attorney Wang Ju-hsuan taught participants how to apply the indices to inspect the internal conditions of gender equality.

Q&A 1: I am an enterprise, what are the benefits of promoting gender equality index?

       Simply speaking, gender equality index for workplaces is a diagnosis tool to help enterprises achieve gender equality. It also helps them build up a “baseline for gender equality,” stipulate “gender related measures and mechanisms,” and inspect “internal inadequacies to modify and improve gradually.” Only with excellent and friendly gender equality management policies and mechanisms can enterprises retain talented people and promote competitiveness.
Q&A 2: I am a working mother. Why is gender equality my concern?

       There is a wage gap among genders. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Labor, women need to work 52 days more per year to earn the same wages as their male counterparts. At the surface level, this is the wage gap between the two genders. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Labor, as women need to take care of their children, seniors, and housework, they tend to retreat from the workplace. This ends up with the discontinuation of their work experience, resulting in adverse effects on promotions when compared with their male counterparts. Therefore, if enterprises promote friendly measures for pregnancy and childcare to help them balance work and family, working mothers can contribute themselves to both work and family. Likewise, their working experiences will continue so they won’t have to sacrifice their careers. With proper career planning, working mothers can also fulfill themselves.

Q&A 3 I am a working father. Why is gender equality my concern?

       Times change. The idea of childcare is also changing. More and more fathers are engaged in the cultivation and education of their children. Fathers should think about what their ideal pictures of their interaction with their children are. Reading a storybook to them? Playing ball with them? Chat with them about the things that happened at school during dinner? Or take them to your office to watch you work? If your company implements measures for gender equality in the workplace, there could be parent-child days and parents could dine with their children on time every night. When a company emphasize employees’ family relationships, it will boost their morale, building up stronger identification with the company.

       Our department would like to advocate that, in an enterprise, a little happiness brings huge happiness to employees. It requires us to construct a whole new friendly workplace culture. Let’s promote gender equality in workplaces together.