The goals of the project co-financed by the European Commission are to reduce the impact of stereotypes about male and female roles at work, in the family and in society, and to facilitate the reconciliation of business and family obligations for each individual. In Croatia today, women still predominate among the unemployed, often due to motherhood, which slows down the progress of the economy and reduces the demographic potential. This was the last public presentation of the project after the public events previously held in Split, Osijek, Varaždin and Rijeka.
The purpose of the project “WorkLife4U“ is to change social norms about the traditional roles of women and men in the family and at work to reduce the problems that young people face in employment and raising a family. The project raises awareness of the unequal distribution of responsibilities within the family and the unconscious bias of employers due to stereotypical expectations. Thus, young men are given priority in employment and promotion, even though women are equally educated and capable. The existence of differences is also confirmed by official data on education and unemployment.
The participants were greeted by Ivan Vidiš, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Pensions, Family and Social Policy, who emphasized the Government’s awareness of the socio-economic challenges that young people face in starting a family and employment, and in line with future plans. support: “The role of the state is to create favorable conditions so that everyone can make the decision to start a family without fear for their existence and future. That is why the Government is making considerable efforts to create a quality legislative framework and network of social services that facilitate part of the care and responsibility for the family. I believe that through this project and the joint work of all partners at the state, regional and local levels, we will contribute not only to improving the balance between business and private life, but also to improving the position of women in the labor market.“
On behalf of the Istrian County, the President of the Istrian County Assembly, Sandra Ćakić Kuhar, who is also the President of the Commission for Gender Equality of the Istrian County, addressed the audience: “Gender equality is a fundamental human right, one of the greatest values and preconditions for achieving goals for development, employment and social solidarity. . In addition to encouraging women’s entrepreneurship and economic independence of women as important dimensions of gender equality, in Istria County we are developing public services that will enable the harmonization of obligations of family and professional life of women. We are aware that the burden of caring for the family, especially for dependent family members – for children and the elderly – is still largely on us women. As a society, we have an obligation to create an environment that will provide equal opportunities for the development of the full potential of all its members, and thus the community as a whole.“
The President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce of the Pula County Chamber, Jasna Jaklin Majetić, pointed out that digitalization today opens up new opportunities for more flexible ways of working as well as new dimensions of social security for women and men. “All the changes that have taken place in the last decade have indicated the need for harmonized flexibility in the labor market, quality legal and social regulation of the employment status of women and men, especially young people who must have subsistence security and timely family planning. This project can also contribute to raising the scale of inclusion of young women and men in the labor market as well as creating better conditions for family life, which is a common goal that we all need to work on, “said Majetić.
Opportunities for European-funded involvement in MAMFORCE SOCIETY were presented through an audit – a strategic tool for creating an organizational culture that enables the harmonization of professional and family obligations and equal opportunities for career development of men and women. “Reduced sick leave rates, higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and a larger number of women in management positions – are the results of the changes we have implemented in 40 organizations through audits. These are clear positive developments, absolutely measurable, which confirm that we are thinking in the right direction. Thanks to the Re-create a life and work for women and men project, 20 companies have the opportunity to improve their policies and practices, and consequently, crucially, productivity, all with EU co-financing. ”- said Diana Kobas Dešković, CEO of Spona Code , which leads companies through a change in organizational culture to develop into work environments that stand out as friends of family and women.
As part of the public presentation of the project, the play “Work and Life for Women and Men” was presented by the Association of Words / Real / Performances, in a customized video format due to the current pandemic.
Public events to present the project were held in Rijeka, Split, Pula, Osijek and Varaždin. In addition to other project activities, MAMFORCE audits and trainings for employers and employees in 20 organizations will be conducted.
With the help of the MAMFORCE method, which directs the change of organizational culture towards an inclusive and gender-balanced work environment, companies will identify existing biases, introduce organizational changes and practices that enable a balance between private and business life of employees. Positive developments and best practices will receive recognition in the form of the MAMFORCE standard as a mark of quality for organizations friends of family and women.
At the end of the conference, a public invitation was sent to companies to join the MAMFORCE SOCIETY.
The implementation of the project is co-financed by the European Commission through the REC program (Rights, Equality and Citizenship). The project coordinator is the Ministry of Labor, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, and the partners are the Croatian Association of Counties and Spona Code.
The value of the project is EUR 324,518.06, of which the European Commission participates with EUR 241,675.13. The project is implemented in the period from June 1, 2020 to July 31, 2022.