Nominees for RównoWaga Employer Awards Announced. Women-Friendly Company of the Year

Projekty w Polsce

‘We would like to thank employers for their strong participation in our competition. We are extremely happy to see that the importance of gender equality is increasingly recognised on the Polish labour market. And that we should enjoy equal opportunities in all our diversity, as this improves business potential’, remarked Dominika Kulczyk, commenting on the number of entries.

The President of the Kulczyk Foundation, along with representatives of the other competition organisers, sat in the jury that convened on 2 September in Poznań during the 15th Congress of Women. The winning employers in their respective categories as well as the runners-up will be announced on 13 October at the European Forum for New Ideas (EFNI) that will host the finals of the competition. In the meantime, the jury announced the list of nominees in the two categories of the competition. The nominees include M&J sp. z o.o., Organon Polska Sp. z o.o. and Osborne Clarke (in the category of companies with up to 100 employees), and BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A., NatWest and Standard Chartered Global Business (companies with more than 100 employees).

Poor Wages and Health

The competition involves evaluation of employer activities in five areas: equality policy, growth and education, work and life balance, wages, and health. The organisers aimed at identifying leading employers who seek to ensure equal opportunities for men and women at work. The winners are meant to become an inspiration for other businesses to create workplaces that are equal for everyone, regardless of their gender.

‘Businesses perform poorly in two major areas. First, there is the wage gap. Not many companies calculate it, report it or even care about equal pay for men and women. The other area is health’, said Dr Ewa Ruminska-Zimny, Vice-President of the Board of the Congress of Women Association and member of the competition jury. Dr Ruminska-Zimny added that the area of work and life balance is rated better, mainly thanks to the opportunity to work from home, flexible working hours and certain forms of support for mothers. In addition, many companies have specific departments or roles devoted to ensuring equality and drafting relevant policies.

Joanna Maliszewska-Mazek, who is responsible at the Kulczyk Foundation for the organisation of the competition, emphasised that even in the areas requiring much improvement, some of the solutions presented by the entrants deserve attention.

‘We would rather not discuss them at this point so as not to reveal too much before the final results are announced, but examples such as menstrual leave, financing of psychotherapy for those in need, and supports for menopausal women are important in the area of health’, observed Joanna Maliszewska-Mazek.

Standards Set by Large Corporations

Inquired about the level of workplace equality awareness among employers, Henryka Bochniarz, Chairwoman of the General Council of the Polish Confederation Lewiatan, pointed to the differences between small and large companies in this regard.

‘Small and medium-sized companies today are not yet very much aware that there is a need to seek balance and equality in various areas. Large corporations, especially foreign ones, have their own global policies and are leaders in equality. Hopefully they can pass their knowledge on to their suppliers and customers, thus ensuring that more companies have improved equality-related practices. Undoubtedly, some changes will be forced by European Union directives. Yet, there is a difference between a process that is implemented proactively and autonomously and one that is imposed externally’, remarked Henryka Bochniarz, who also participated in the jury’s work.

The organisers hope that positive changes in the approach of employers to gender equality in the workplace advance naturally, thanks in part to the RównoWaga competition.

‘This year’s entrants are leaders of change, and subsequent editions of the competition will certainly expand this group to include more and more employers. This is a snowball effect that we have seen in many our projects’, said Dominika Kulczyk, reflecting on the year’s successes.

For more information about the competition, visit


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