RównoWaga, or Gender Balance at Work. Female-Friendly Company of the Year Competition

Projects in Poland

Lower wages despite the same level of qualifications and a greater workload at home coupled with unawareness of their rights—this is the reality facing many women are still at a disadvantage vis-a-vis men on the labour market in Poland. The RównoWaga competition for employers is aimed to help make a difference.

‘No matter if you manage a large company or a government agency or a small foundation. No matter if you have long fostered workplace equality or have just begun this journey. If you want your employees to enjoy equal opportunities regardless of their gender, this competition is for you’, encourages Dominika Kulczyk, President of the Kulczyk Foundation, one of the competition’s subject-matter partners and sponsors.

Standards and innovation

The competition aims at identifying leaders among employers who champion gender equality for women and men in the workplace. By showing positive role models, the sponsors want to inspire the creation of an equal workplace for everyone, whatever their gender. Partners providing subject-matter support for the competition are the Share the Care Foundation and the Institute for Structural Research (IBS). The pooled experience of all sponsors and partners enables to address gender equality in the workplace in a comprehensive manner.

‘We have taken a deep dive into the situation of women on the labour market and can see a number of areas for change. We will be asking employers about their action across five of them. These will be: Gender Equality Policy; Growth and Education; Work–Life Balance; Pay; and Health and Well-Being,’ says Dr. Ewa Rumińska-Zimny, Board Vice-President of the Congress of Women Association, the competition co-sponsor. ‘When assessing the entries, we will look at the standards in place in the workplace but we will also appreciate innovative solutions to ensure equal opportunities for women and men.’

Leaders set the direction

Henryka Bochniarz, Chairwoman of the Main Council of the Polish Confederation Lewiatan, Poland’s largest business association, highlights the importance of workplace gender equality for company growth.

‘Employers are encouraged to enter our competition, as corporate commitment to achieving wider gender equality in the workplace has now become a measure of progress and competitive advantage. By providing equal opportunities at work for all, regardless of their gender, companies can attract top talent and thus improve their market performance,’ she said.

With the cooperation between the competition’s sponsors and their prestigious media partners, wide publicity will be given to the achievements and to the most compelling equality-friendly solutions implemented by the contestants.

A contest like no other

Speaking with one voice, the leaders of the inviting organisations stress that although there have already been many initiatives of the kind, this one stands out. This is because of its missionary and educational nature and the unique format of collaboration between businesses and community organisations. The sponsors’ intent is to broaden employers’ perspective on the issues around workplace gender equality. Bringing what were, until recently, taboo topics in the workplace, such as menstrual health or menopause, into the focus of employers is also of no small importance.

The contestants will be evaluated in two categories: companies with 10 to 100 employees and those with more than 100 employees. A separate main award will be presented in each of the aforementioned categories, and five honourable mentions – one in each focus area – have been prepared by the sponsors.

Issues within the five focus areas of the competition will provide topics for discussion at the Congress of Women to be held on 2–3 September 2023, and the award ceremony for the competition’s winners is scheduled to take place during this year’s EFNI (European Forum for New Ideas) event on 11–13 October 2023. Every year, the Forum gathers over a thousand participants – representatives of the world of business, science, culture and administration, Polish and European alike.

For more details and the entry form, please visit rownowaga.org.pl.


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