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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



Auchan Logo

Auchan Magyarország Kft

“Those of us at Auchan Magyarország Kft. ensure equal opportunities for all members of our staff, and we judge everyone, without exception, on the basis of their performance. In our Equal Opportunity Plan, our company has committed itself to, among other things, guaranteeing male and female employees the same opportunities. Accordingly, 66 percent of the some 7000 persons working at Auchan are female, and 53 percent of the company’s senior management is composed of women. Additionally, we continue to seek out opportunities through which we may contribute to improving the quality of life of our employees. As part of this, we launched a programme this year to assist mothers and fathers with young children return to work,” said Zsófia Samu, communications director of Auchan Magyarország Kft.

BP Logo


“BP’s business service centre in Hungary, founded in 2009, employs over one thousand people in the fields of customer service, finance and procurement.

Pursuant to our company’s international Diversity and Inclusion Regulations, we reject any form of discrimination and negative discrimination, and we pay special attention to preventing and terminating any such behaviour. We believe in employing the right person in the right job, and according to this principle, we place great emphasis on the training and development of our colleagues. We ensure that all employees have access to advancement opportunities based on their abilities, individual potential, performance, openness to development and individual development potential.

The company’s current Equal Opportunity Plan, for the period 2014-2016, spells out an action plan, to be regularly updated by our designated Equal Opportunity Officer in coordination with company management.

BP’s diversity indicators: In Hungary currently, 64.9% of the company’s employees are female; women make up 39% of senior management; 37.5% of the board is female; and 61% of new hires are women. Read more about BP’s international principles on diversity here.”


CMS Cameron McKenna Ügyvédi Iroda:

“In 2015, the ratio of women in senior management at CMS Law Office was 53%, while the representation of women in the office as a whole was even more positive, at 69%. We believe it is important to publish this data because we wish to set a good example and, in a way, prove that a business can be successful when the number of men and women is roughly equal. Our goal is to maintain these indicators going forward; to that end, we are making pledges in even more areas compared to last year.”

Ferenczy museum Logo

Ferenczy Múzeumi Centrum

“The Ferenczy Museum Centre was the first cultural institution to join WeAreOpen’s call for pledges. The institutions of the museum, based in Szentendre, currently employ a large number of female employees. Gábor Gulyás, head of the museum group, noted: they believe it is also important for women to play a key role in the leadership of the institution. In 2016, they will make it possible for parents with young children (mothers and fathers alike) to work more flexible hours, and the museum will also introduce new visitors’ programmes for families.

Hosszulepes Logo

Hosszúlépés. Járunk?

“We are proud that we have shown that it is, in fact, possible to operate a high-quality cultural enterprise in Hungary without state support. In the same way, we also want to show that if both members of a couple play a role in child-raising, they will be happier and more successful at home and at work.”

Microsoft logo


“At Microsoft, we believe in the fundamental values of equal opportunity and diversity, and we work to advance these principles both within our company and beyond. We are convinced that diversity and acceptance are indispensable conditions to our business success. Today, one half of Microsoft Hungary’s management is female, and one half is male; overall, women make up 30 percent of the company’s employees. We wish to provide women with opportunities and show them a path forward; this is our focus especially in the case of young people in an industry that is traditionally regarded as male-dominated. This, ultimately, also improves the competitiveness of Hungary,” said Judit Grósz, Marketing and Operative Director of Microsoft Hungary.

Morgan Stanley

“At Morgan Stanley, equal opportunity is not just a slogan that sounds good: it is an intrinsic part of our daily activities. We are working to create the kind of supportive and inclusive environment in which everyone can realise their full potential. As one of the largest employers in the field of IT in Hungary, we are proud of the fact that in 2015, across all of our business divisions, nearly 40 percent of our new hires were female; this represents an increase of almost ten percent compared to 2014 data. Our commitment to an inclusive culture is evinced by the fact that we continue to place great emphasis on the development and advancement of our staff, according to their abilities and talents. This is also clearly represented on the management level: some one-third of the senior leaders working at Morgan Stanley’s Budapest office are women.”

Prezi logo


“Thirty-one percent of employees at Prezi are female, and women make up 36% of the company’s management. We find it important to publicise this because we want to underscore also for ourselves that we still have a ways to go to improve this percentage. The greatest challenge is to increase the ratio of women among our engineers, increasing it from the approximately 10% level of today. To that end, we have launched and we support programs like Skool, which introduces school-age girls to the world of programming.

Mar 2016: Companies for equal workplace opportunities for women and men: discussing their actions publicly

Companies for equal workplace opportunities for women and men: discussing their actions publicly

Budapest, 8 March 2016 – One-third of all women in Hungary have felt that they do not enjoy the same opportunities as their male colleagues. This is what the community initiative WeAreOpen is seeking to change, with the participation of global companies, Hungarian startups and enterprises. In the hope of starting a tradition, they are publishing the measures they have introduced in 2016 to ensure the same chances and opportunities for women and men in the workplace. The first public pledges and diversity indicators were published on Women’s Day; others may join the call at any time during the year on the website Organisers of the campaign hope the initiative will serve as inspiration to others.

1.1 million employees in Hungary believe it is urgent for their workplace to take action towards ensuring equal opportunities and chances for women and men, according to a study by Gemius. One out of three women feel that they do not receive treatment equal with men when it comes to career opportunities (31%) or wages (37%). While it is a general phenomenon that men tend to experience inequality less than women, one out of four men in Hungary now agree that women and men do not receive the same opportunities in the workplace.

Furthermore, international studies show that not only is it better for female and male employees when their company includes diverse teams at all levels of the firm, comprised of a similar number of men and women, but this also makes such diverse companies more successful.

“We believe that being open – judging people solely on the basis of their actions and achievements – is not only right, but also makes good business sense. Certainly, studies do not paint a rosy picture of the situation today: this makes what can be done all the more important. The problem has been visible for a long time, but what we have not seen so far is which companies are doing what to change the situation. By encouraging public pledges, and giving these visibility, we hope to encourage change. What we have found is that we are able to inspire one another as companies and organisations, thereby bringing positive change to the lives of potentially tens of thousands of employees, in a surprisingly short amount of time,” stated the representative of the WeAreOpen initiative, which launched the project.

In Hungary, Auchan, BP, Prezi and CMS Cameron McKenna Law Office have also made public their diversity indicators, on Women’s Day. These figures show the ratio of women and men at their entire company in Hungary, among senior leaders and among new employees. According to international experiences, companies working in different industries must overcome various different kinds of challenges to ensure that women and men make up a balanced proportion of employees at the business; transparency and public dialogue, however, are important steps towards change, regardless of the specific industry.

A number of prominent global companies were among the first to publish what steps they would take in 2016; in Hungary, these business employ more than ten thousand people. Pledges may be made anytime during the year: the initiative welcomes additional companies that wish to join at Pledges have been received from, among others, Auchan, BP, CMS Cameron McKenna Law Office, GE Lighting, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley, and – as the first cultural institution – the Ferenczy Museum Centre in Szentendre; WeAreOpen initiative founders Prezi, espell and Google have also made pledges. Their pledges pertain to increasing the number of female managers, increasing the number of positions which may be performed through part-time work or telework, examining wage inequalities and reducing any, or programs geared toward schoolchildren and, primarily, girls. The website offers a list – of 10+1 items considered important by experts – for companies to choose from if they are willing to pledge publicly what they will work on in 2016 to ensure equal access to opportunities and equal chances for women and men in the workplace.

During the WeAreOpen initiative’s first call for public pledges last year, global corporations, startups and Hungarian businesses made over 100 public pledges. Based on the statements of companies making pledges, businesses successfully implemented an average of 7 out of 10 pledges made, and many companies will continue their efforts this year.

Media observer and analyst company Neticle, for instance, has made public internally the salaries associated with various positions at the company, allowing everyone to see what salary corresponds to each position. This was part of an effort to terminate the kind of salary inequality between women and men that is often encountered. The family enterprise Hosszúlépés. Járunk?, offering city walking tours, has had to deal with maternity leave matters for the first time since its establishment, when the owners had a baby. Right away, the company made it possible for the male colleague to participate in their own, experimental, programme and play a part in child-raising. As part of the programme, the man, for now, spends half a day, then a full day, at home each week; according to the company, not only does this help establish a more balanced sharing of the workload within the family, but it also allows the mother with the young child to return to work more easily when she would like. Large corporations have launched several internal training programmes geared specifically for women in the interest of equal opportunity; several workshops were also held for school-age girls and women entrepreneurs. Many have worked successfully to increase the number of women within the company’s management; the number of part-time and telework-compatible positions particularly favourable for parents with young children has also increased; and there are plans to develop new programmes for after maternity/paternity leave.

The founders of the WeAreOpen community initiative would like to see these public pledges and transparency become traditions among companies wishing to take action towards equal workplace opportunities for women and men. 


About WeAreOpen
The WeAreOpen initiative currently includes more than 900 companies, organisations and communities; others are welcome to join at the website WeAreOpen welcomes everyone who believes it a fundamental value that everyone should be judged solely on the basis of their actions and achievements, without regard to other characteristics.

Anyone can take a stance for openness at the website Founders of the initiative believe this is a simple, but important gesture. The community’s Facebook page provides the latest news about WeAreOpen.

This prezi provides further information on the findings of the study supporting the necessity of the initiative. 

About the survey
The survey was conducted in November 2014, and is representative of internet users in Hungary over the age of 18. The sample size was 3200 people. Questionnaires were collected using the CAWI pop-up methodology between 3 and 17 November 2014.

The survey was conducted by Gemius, which itself has joined the WeAreOpen initiative, and was supported by WeAreOpen partners Central Media Group and Origo Media Group. The Social Gender and Culture Research Centre of the Corvinus University of Budapest participated in the survey as a professional sponsor, with Neticle supporting the content analysis of the study.