‘RównoWaga Employer Awards’ winners announced!

Projects in Poland
‘RównoWaga Employer Awards’ winners announced!

A competition unlike any other

Equality policies and measures, development and training, work-life balance, wages, and health – these are the areas the awards committee looked at in particular when evaluating close to a hundred employers who participated in the competition. Data shows that there’s much to be done in each of these areas, which means that to give women and men equal opportunities in the labour market, companies need to take a proactive and holistic approach in addressing these areas. The competition's open format – its availability to a broad range of employers (private companies, institutions, the public administration and social organisations) and lack of participation – is undoubtedly unique. The Share the Care Foundation and the Institute for Structural Research helped organise the competition by providing expertise on the subject matter. Addressing the topic comprehensively was made possible thanks to the accumulated experience of the organisers and the partners, and the competition’s format ultimately allowed for a creation of a unique good practices guide for businesses to help them foster equality in the workplace.

Women-friendly company of the year Winners and honourable mentions

The results of the competition were announced on October 13, 2023, with the first prize for an employer with 10 to 100 employees going to Organon Polska.

‘In this case, the employer implemented a whole range of pro-equality solutions’, pointed out Dr Ewa Rumińska-Zimny, the vice president of the Kongres Kobiet Association and a member of the awards committee. ‘Among these were wage equality and transparency measures, periodic salary reviews, and leaves: a 12-week parental leave, and a 10-day family leave that can also be used for needs related to menstruation and menopause’, she added.

The first prize for employers of over 100 employees was awarded to Standard Chartered Poland.

‘The committee commended the 50% women’s representation on the board, a low adjusted-pay gap and options that allow women to develop in areas seen as traditionally masculine, such as the accelerator programme aimed at women who wish to develop their IT skills or the involvement in the Perspektywy Women in Tech summit, IT for SHE and Cyber Women Community.’

In addition to the main awards, the committee also named honourable mentions in all assessed areas (equality policies and measures, development and training, work-life balance, wages, and health). Some of what the employers have to offer to their employees turned out to be unique on a national scale.

The honourable mention in the ‘Work-Life Balance’ area went to NatWest Poland, the only Polish company to provide IVF treatment subsidies to its employees. Veolia Energia Polska received an honourable mention in the ‘Development and training’ area for its efforts to support women’s development in a field stereotypically considered to be masculine, for example through the ‘Energia Kobiet’ (Women’s Energy) mentoring programme or the Woman in Leadership programme. The company ensures that women have a significant representation in managerial positions and on the board, despite the vast majority of the employees being men. M&J, the company named in the ‘Health’ area, impressed the committee with its personal approach to the needs of employees of both genders, including a comprehensive commitment to women’s health, covering the less-talked-about issues of menopause and menstruation health, among others. The company also provides full financing for therapy during working hours for every employee who might need it.

The committee also took note of the efforts undertaken by the big players on the market. With its honourable mention in the category of ‘Equality Policies and Measures’, IKEA Retail is no stranger to feminine and gender-neutral job titles, but also to consistently working to build transparent equality policies and measures, as well as to an equal ratio of women to men in managerial positions, and among the company’s top earners. Meanwhile, Orange Polska (an honourable mention in the ‘Wages’ area) boasts a low adjusted-pay gap (3.9%), which is audited externally. The company regularly carries out in-depth analyses that take into account pay grades, specialist and managerial positions, with an emphasis on the issue of equal pay for equal responsibilities, levels of experience, commitment, and knowledge.

A significant number of employers who took part in the competition operate in the non-profit, voluntary and public and local administration sectors. The committee decided to acknowledge them by awarding two additional special prizes. Among NGOs and public administration institutions, the City Hall of Cracow was recognised for its efforts outlined in the Plan Równości Płci [Gender Equality Plan] adopted by the Municipality of Cracow, and the ‘Robisz to!’ Association [‘You’re Doing It!’] for frequently granting menstrual leaves.

‘We’re very pleased by both the turnout and the creativity of the participants, who came up with many interesting solutions to ensure gender equality in the workplace. Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that the companies and institutions that took part in the competition represent only a fraction of the labour market. It is our hope, however, that this fraction, consisting of the employers who do the most to address this issue, will only keep getting bigger. I believe in progress. I believe that what we consider to be innovative today will be the norm tomorrow, and that in the following years, this competition will bring many more inspiring ideas’, added Dominika Kulczyk. The next RównoWaga Employer Awards are planned for the second quarter of 2024.


Standard Chartered Poland – main award in the category of employers with over 100 employees

Organon Polska sp. z o.o. – main award in the category of employers with 10 to 100 employees


The City Hall of Cracow – in the category of Public and Local Administration

The Robisz to! Association – in the category of NGOs


IKEA Retail – the ‘Equality Policies and Measures’ area

Veolia Energia Polska – the ‘Development and Training’ area

NatWest Poland – the ‘Work-Life Balance’ area

Orange Polska – the ‘Wages’ area

M&J sp. z o.o. – the ‘Health’ area

Congratulations to all the winners, the recipients of honourable mentions, and all the participating companies! We would like to thank you for recognising women’s inherent potential and their needs, for creating a working environment with a management model based on the equal opportunity philosophy. We especially congratulate the small companies that are at the beginning of their journey to give women equal opportunities in the workplace. It’s amazing that you had the courage to go head to head with corporations that are farther along in their journey – the organisers of the competition say.

For more information about the Competition, go to Rownowaga.org.pl


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