AWARD CEREMONY OF „THE BEST WORKPLACE FOR WOMEN 2008”
„The duties of NGOs is not criticizing or punishing but showing a good example” – said Andrea Ferenczi, President of AWCDH in her greetings opening the ceremony. That is why „The Best Workplace for Women” and „The Award for Women’s Equality” were founded in 2007 – Equal Opportunities for All – European Year. Companies are more and more interested in „The Best Workplace for Women” award: for the first time there were 10 applications, for the second call issued on 17 October 2008 twice as many, 20 applications were submitted .
Lívia Járóka MEP said in her greetings that NGOs and the economic sector should cooperate more, since it is the duty of NGOs to influence the economic sector. She said regarding „The Best Workplace for Women” Award: „We should send a message to the world that we can work better if we can spend quality time with our families as well.” She pointed out the difference between the salaries of men and women- in the for-profit sector the difference is 22% for the benefit of men, 18% in the business sector, while in the public sector it is 21% . She also drew the attention to the cumulated disadvantageous situation of homeless women and women living in deep poverty, asking employers to pay attention to them as well when they make their decisions.
Lajos Korózs, Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour mentioned ’the equal pay for equal work’ as an urgent task to do, the same way as Lívia Járóka. In jobs that do not require qualifications the difference is small, but in the case of higher positions the differnece can be as high as 30% – emhpasized the under-secretary. Opposing this the fact is that „women are more resistant and hard-working than men and more of them graduate from universities and don’t just enroll for courses ” – said Lajos Korózs.
Dr. Judit Demeter, Chairwoman of the Equal Treatment Authority said that having a child was an event in women’s lives that evoked a case of discrimination suffered by most women. It is a problem that companies look for immediate solutions, that is why if a woman wants to go back to work companies can only offer them lower positions – said the Chairwoman. Besides the direct forms of discrimination we can experience indirect discrimination as well – added Dr. Judit Demeter -,e.g. if we see work hours that prevent parents from taking their children to kindergarten or pre-school.
After the greetings the awards were presented in two categories:
The winners were presented with the award in the 1st and 2nd Category by Andrea Ferenczi, Lajos Korózs, Lívia Járóka, Dr. Judit Demeter and Gyöngyi Fazekas (AWCDH) .
This was followed by the introduction of the companies, during which the winners had a short presentation on their best practices, which helped them get the award.
In the category employing more than 250 categories SAP Hungary Kft. and the Citi Shared Service Center won a divided first award. Balázs Ablonczy, CEO of SAP forwarded the message of his company to the audience: „Diversity is a driving force”. He mentioned the recruitment day of women, the possibility of flexible working hours, voluntary company projects and a mutual intention agreement offered to young mothers.
On behalf of the Citi Shared Service Center Nynke de Jong, Regional HR Manager of Citibank for Central and Eastern Europe received the award. She said that inclusion and diversity were natural parts of the company culture, since otherwise they would not be able to meet the requirements of their diverse clients. Ms. de Jong mentioned job division, flexible working hours and part-time jobs, a mentoring system and the regular trainings for employees as their best practices.
ELMŰ NyRt won the second award in the same category. Dr. Marie-Theres Thiell, member of the Board of Directors received the award and emphasized the diversity principle that came into force in 2006, a part of which the company pays attention to the promotion of women colleagues and leaders.
GE Hungary Zrt. Energy Division won the third award in this category. Letícia Szabó HR Manager introduced the family-friendly best practice of the division, which includes a family and sports day, a fitness center built by the company so that women employees can take care of their beauty better and different programmes and workshops. There is a Women’s Network in the company to develop the leadership skills of women.
In the category employing 30-250 employees evopro Kft. won the first award. „We are not a women’s workplace but a workplace where women like to work” – said Csaba Mészáros CEO when he received the award. „It is important for these practices to be created at a local level and to include them in everyday life” – he added.
In the same category Zalavíz Zrt. won the second award. Magdolna Miklósné Csondor, Communication Specialist said the best practices of the company were the atypical forms of employment, determining the working hours individually, helping the employees returning from childcare leave, and the day „free of women”, when only men work and women go on a trip.
The third award in this category went to THERMAL HOTEL AQUINCUM Zrt. Ramada Plaza.
„We try to be the most friendly hotel with the highest level of facilities” – said Tamás Fazekas Director. They try to pay a special attention to the need of women employees, which is proven by a survey made by them regarding gender equality questions.
As part of „The best Workplace for Women 2008” three special awards were handed over. The special awards were handed over by: Andrea Ferenczi, Dr. László Herczog, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, Lajos Korózs, Dr. Judit Demeter és Dr. Zita Gurmai, MEP.
The special award of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour was won by IC Companys Hungary Kft. the award was received by: Éva Szántó, Retail Area Manager, the special award of Figyelő (The Observer) was won by ALCOA-Köfém Kft. , received by Erika Sas Communication Manager, the special award of Világgazdaság (World Economy) was won by Kanizsa Trend Kft., received by Éva Décsy, Marketing Manager, who had a short presentation on the company.