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June 2018: Nationwide survey to examine the workplace experiences of men and women

Nationwide survey to examine the workplace experiences of men and women

Budapest, 21.06.2018. – A new, annual survey by the WeAreOpen initiative seeks to examine the workplace experiences of both women and men. An increasing number of employers in Hungary have begun taking steps in recent years to ensure women and men have access equal opportunities. WeAreOpen’s series of studies seeks to determine what progress women are seeing as well as to learn about the experiences of men. In addition to a nationwide survey representative of Hungarian internet users, all are welcome to share their opinions on the website A questionnaire “to go” is also available to help employers assess what their male and female employees think.

In the last 4-5 years, an increasing number of workplaces – including some of Hungary’s largest and most prominent employers, as well as countless smaller businesses – have worked tirelessly to ensure equal opportunities for their male and female employees.

Some have focused on improving the situation of women with young children; others made sure that women are not passed over simply because of possible prejudice when due for merit-based promotions; while still others have tried to provide opportunities for women in fields that may be atypical – for instance, by teaching computer programming to girls at a young age.

Melinda Miklós, managing director of WeAreOpen, says:

“WeAreOpen was launched in 2013 by Prezi, espell and Google. Progress has since been made on a number of fronts, and it has also become clear that these issues are important not only to women, but to men as well. Women and men alike want to see what impact and what benefits these efforts will mean for them. For this reason, WeAreOpen’s nationwide survey will ask women and men about their expectations for their workplaces: to what extent are they able to harmonise their professional lives with their personal and family lives? Do they believe they are being treated according to their merits in their workplaces? And what additional steps do they wish to see?”

The survey is intended to be repeated annually, focusing on topical questions each time. Drafters of the questionnaire, which has been made available publicly, relied on the findings of several important recent studies, including the report Women’s Affairs 2018 (Nőügyek 2018), which examined the difficulties of harmonising work and care-giving responsibilities; the questionnaire also incorporates input from the MOL Group, one of the largest employers in the country. The survey seeks to answer questions such as the extent to which respondents feel their current job is in line with what they were hoping for when they were younger, or if they are in fact being judged according to their performance in their workplaces. In order to allow as many people as possible to see the extent to which this problem affects their business, WeAreOpen is making the questionnaire available free of charge to the small and medium-sized enterprise sector, which – according to the most recent Hungarian Central Statistical Office data – employs nearly 3 million people. Larger corporations are also encouraged to get involved, and may commission a more detailed questionnaire.

Making the survey especially timely, recent Hungarian Central Statistical Office data indicate that nearly 60,000 jobs are unfilled in the private sector alone, resulting in tremendous competition for new colleagues and to retain existing employees. The assessment of employee satisfaction is a key marker in this, and it also helps if employees know that they are being judged fairly, based solely on their actions and performance. Ensuring that men and women enjoy equal opportunities leads to more successful companies and happier, more committed employees.

“At Eaton EMEA Business Service Center, we have a highly diverse team; women make up over 60 percent of our workforce. I believe that the gender composition of our team is one of our key strengths, providing us with a terrific mix of abilities and experience. This is good both for our company and also for society,” says Csaba Szende, managing director of Eaton EMEA BSC, a member of the WeAreOpen advisory board.

WeAreOpen conducted a similar survey four years ago, which showed that more than one million people believe it is necessary for their workplace to take urgent action to provide equal opportunities for female and male employees. This amounts to one in every four employees. Among those over the age of 18 but still enrolled in school, 83% stated that if they had to choose between two similar workplaces, they would opt for the one where they knew they would only be judged based on their actions and performance, without regard for any other factor.

If we look at the numbers: these young people are, in fact, right. A number of studies have proven that companies which operate according to such fair rules are more successful, and that employees working in such workplaces tend to be happier.

The matter of workplace opportunities for women and men will continue to be an important topic for many years. The World Economic Forum, for instance, has found that if progress continues at the same pace as today, it will take 217 years before the pay gap between men and women disappears. A recent international study by McKinsey has found that female employees have an 18 percent lower likelihood of advancing in the ranks at their corporations.

WeAreOpen, through the representative survey conducted among Hungarian internet users, a questionnaire made publicly available and a survey developed for businesses, offers data which business decision makers can use to implement specific and effective changes. WeAreOpen conducted the survey in cooperation with Gemius. The Equalizer Foundation, an organisation bringing together female leaders and founded by Edina Heal, a former executive with Google Hungary, was among the first companies and organisations to participate in the survey.

The “WeAreOpen survey 2018” questionnaire is available for filling out or to request as a company on the website through the end of July. The survey is anonymous. Results of the nationwide survey will be published at the end of the summer.

About WeAreOpen
The WeAreOpen community initiative was launched by Prezi, espell and Google in the summer of 2013. WeAreOpen’s principal sponsor is Citi. In the past five years, more than 1,000 companies, organisations and communities have joined WeAreOpen, including Hungarian businesses, brands with a prominent Hungarian and international profile, and civil organisations and communities. WeAreOpen will be participating in Budapest Pride for the fifth time. It has also launched more than 10 other campaigns, including in support of gender equality at the workplace and equal treatment of people with disabilities.

Those joining the WeAreOpen initiative hold the fundamental belief that everyone is to be judged solely on the basis of their actions and achievements, without regard to their age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic identity and origin, political, religious or other views and physical or other factors.

Dalma Kormos
[email protected]