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December 2014: Gemius research on Gender Equality at the workplace & WeAreOpen initiative

1,100,000 employees believe there is urgent need for change to give women and men equal opportunities at the workplace in Hungary

An initiative with a membership of some 800 companies and organisations is launching a community campaign for change.

Budapest, 4.12.2014 – 1,100,000 employees in Hungary consider it urgent for their workplace to take action to provide equal opportunities to women and men, a recent study by Gemius and the We’re Open initiative has found. The initiative, which has a membership of some 800 companies and organisations, has therefore launched a community campaign. The members are publishing their commitments on the nyitottakvagyunk.hu website, as well as what action they are going to take in 2015 to get closer to women and men enjoying equal opportunities at the workplace. They are also encouraging others to do the same. More than 50 commitments were made on the first day alone, including from companies employing tens of thousands of people in Hungary in total, such as Auchan, GE Hungary, LogMeIn, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, NNG, Sziget, Ustream, and the founders of We’re Open, Prezi, espell and Google. The commitments include increasing the number of female managers, part-time and teleworking positions, identifying whether there is a pay difference and, if so, reducing it, and schemes targeted at female pupils in particular. Companies and organisations can join the campaign on the nyitottakvagyunk.hu website. They also aim to inspire others with this initiative.

Equal opportunities?

1,100,000 Hungarian employees consider it urgent for their workplace to take action to provide equal opportunities to women and men. 31% of women and 25% of men believe that women and men are not treated equally in terms of promotions and pay; 37% of women and 24% of men reported that they feel women and men are treated differently on the basis of gender. The gender pay gap is also supported by data from Eurostat: on average men earn 20.1% more than women in the same position. That is more than 4% worse than the EU average of 16.4%. Some 28% of women and 24% of men said that women and men are not treated in the same way when it comes to everyday work situations and meetings.

Workplace incidents such as sexist generalisations, addressing people by nicknames instead of their own names or sexual propositions seem to be an inexhaustible source of everyday inequalities. Seven percent of men and more than twice as many women (16%) were subject to generalising comments at work and targeted sexist comments; 7% of men and again more than twice as many women (15%) reported receiving explicit or implicit sexual propositions. Of women, 29% mentioned that they were addressed at work by some form of nickname, whereas only 21% of men reported the same.

Companies where women and men are present at every level of responsibility are more successful

Numerous international surveys have shown that diverse workplaces are more successful and perform better. It makes sense for companies and it is also better for employees. One of the surveys, for example, explored the financial indicators of Fortuna 500 companies with at least three female board members, compared with companies that do not employ women or employer fewer women at those levels of responsibility. The survey examined the performance of the companies between 2004 and 2008 and found that companies with at least three female board members outperformed those with sustained low female representation by 84 percent in terms of return on sales (ROS). According to research, better group performance, a better mix of management skills, better use of talent, consumer mapping, responsible corporate management and risk avoidance can contribute to improved performance.

That is also supported by the views of Hungarian employees; according to the Gemius survey 77% of women and 69% of men believe that equal representation of both genders at every level of responsibility is, or would be, important for the success of the company or organisation they work for.

A community campaign is getting underway to bring us closer to gender equality at the workplace.

The WeAreOpen initiative, which 800 companies, organisations and communities have joined so far, will drive the community campaign. It is inviting the members of We’re Open and all other companies and organisations that believe in openness to assess what should be done at their own company or organisation to ensure that women and men enjoy equal opportunities at work every day, and to make a public commitment on the nyitottakvagyunk.hu website to work on that issue in 2015. The commitments include increasing the number of female managers, part-time and teleworking positions, identifying whether there is a pay difference and, if so, reducing it, and schemes targeted at female pupils in particular. The objective is for each company, organisation or community to make a commitment in an area that it realises is problematic, but where it is capable of achieving improvement, whether it be creating a part-time position, launching a bus service that enables kids to be picked up from school on time or simply building a changing room. 

“Not only do we believe that being open is the right thing to do, we know that it makes business sense, since both our own experiences and research indicate that diverse communities and companies are more successful. It makes sense for companies and it is also better for employees. A diverse community needs women and men at every level of responsibility, so it is essential for them to enjoy equal opportunities at the workplace. By standing up in large numbers for openness and diversity, such as equal opportunities for women and men, and acting accordingly, we aim to inspire others,” said the founders of the We’re Open initiative.

Companies and organisations can join the campaign on the nyitottakvagyunk.hu website. More than 50 commitments were made on the first day alone, including from companies employing tens of thousands of people in Hungary in total, such as Auchan, GE Hungary, LogMeIn, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, NNG, Sziget, Ustream, and the founders of We’re Open, Prezi, espell and Google. They also aim to inspire others with this initiative.

About WeAreOpen

You can join the WeAreOpen initiative, which currently has a membership of some 800 companies, organisations and communities, on the nyitottakvagyunk.hu website. We welcome all those companies, organisations and communities that regard it as a fundamental value that others are judged solely on the basis of their actions and achievements, without regard to other characteristics.

At nyitottakvagyunk.hu everyone can make a commitment to openness, which the founders of the initiative believe is a simple, but important gesture. You can follow the latest news on the community’s Facebook and Google+ sites.

About the research

The research is representative of the online Hungarian community aged over 18. The sample size was 3,200 people. The questionnaire survey was performed using the CAWI pop-up method between 3 and 17 November 2014.

The research was carried out by Gemius, a member of the We’re Open community, with the support of Centrál Médiacsoport and Origo Media Group, which are also members of We’re Open. The Budapest Corvinus University Social Gender and Culture Research Centre contributed as expert sponsor, and Neticle as content analyser.

The photos from the media event at which the research was presented can be downloaded here.


Further researches about why it’s worth to have both men and women employees at every level of responsibility: