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“Digitalization and remote working positively affect women's employment” TEPAV Economy Monitoring Center Director Gülbin Şahinbeyoğlu pointed out that women's employment has increased since the 25X25 target was set in G20 countries, but this momentum was interrupted by the COVID 19 process. “Digitalization offers important opportunities to make it easier for women to start a business by reducing the costs of starting a business and expanding the work-from-home model,” she said.
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12/06/2023 - Viewed 589 times

 

 

"Women-Led Development" roundtable meeting held in Goa, India on May 9, 2023 with the contribution of different involvement groups, including T20. TEPAV Economy Monitoring Center Director, Gülbin Şahinbeyoğlu contributed to the discussions as the T20 representative.

The "Women's Empowerment Ministerial Conference", the first high-level event at the G20 that sets women in the center of economic and social life, was held in 2021 under Italy's presidency. The themes the conference were identified as; the status of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, digital and financial literacy, environment and sustainability, labor and economic empowerment, work-life balance. Various studies were carried out on the empowerment of women during the Indonesian term presidency.

In the G20 presidency of India, “Women-Led Development” was determined as the main theme. In addition to T20, G20EMPOWER (G20 Alliance for the Strengthening and Advancement of Women's Economic Representation), W20 (Women 20), C20 (Civil 20), Women in STEM and Women's Leadership representatives attended.

In the first session titled “Women mean Business: 25 by 25”, referring to the G20 leaders assurance to reducing the gender gap in labor force participation by 25 percent compared to 2012 by 2025 (25x25 target) at the 2014 Brisbane Summit, it is stated that promoting female entrepreneurship is a key part of this commitment. It was indicated that digitalization is an important factor affecting women's participation in the formal economy and that women's involvement in the workforce and business life will also create an efficient business cycle with increasing competition.

Recovery in women's employment is delayed

Taking the floor as the T20 representative, Gülbin Şahinbeyoğlu pointed out that women's employment has increased in G20 countries since the 25X25 target was set, but this momentum was interrupted by the COVID 19, and said, "Women's employment losses are higher and recovery is delayed. Similar developments recently took place in February earthquakes in Turkey which confirm still existing low levels and vulnerabilities in women's employment. On the other hand, digitalization offers favorable conditions that will make it easier for women to start a business by reducing the establishment costs and to balance their paid work / home responsibilities by expanding the work-from-home model.”

It is important to recognize experiences and successful examples

Emphasizing the importance of knowing successful examples and sharing information about support activities effectively, Şahinbeyoğlu said, “In this context, initiatives similar to TOBB's Women Entrepreneurs Board, which is structured in 81 provinces, may be beneficial.”

Şahinbeyoğlu also gave information about the “Turkey's Entrepreneurial Women's Competition” which is held every year in partnership with TOBB-TEPAV. She mentioned it as an important event which was followed closely by the public where awards were given in sub-branches such as “The Company that Increases Women Employment the Most”, “The Fastest Growing Woman Entrepreneur Company”, “The Most Environmentally Friendly Woman Entrepreneur Company”, “The Most Digitalized Woman Entrepreneur Company”.

Representation of women in STEM fields is considerably low

In the second session titled “Educating for the Future of Work: Women in STEM”, the universal case of underrepresentation of women in STEM fields and overrepresentation of women in care activities was highlighted and programs such as internships, career counseling and awareness-raising activities aimed at increasing women's participation in STEM fields were stated as beneficial. It was suggested that STEM subjects could start from lower classes by revising the education curriculum, especially in groups with low representation. Funding for higher education, providing employment opportunities by private companies for female graduates of engineering programs, and provision of workplace child care facilities were also discussed in the session.

Women make up only a third of managerial positions in G20 and OECD countries

In the last session on “Grassroots to High-Tables: Women Leaders for One Future”, it was pointed out that women constitute only one-third of managerial positions in G20 and OECD countries, and they are much less likely to be at the CEO level or on the boards of private companies. Referring to the metaphors such as “glass ceiling”, “sticky floor” and “leadership labyrinth” that define barriers to the upward mobility of women in the workplace, it was stated that even women who reach the highest positions face various social, legal and institutional obstacles. The issues of women undertaking a double workload together with their domestic responsibilities, presence of gender judgments about women in the workplace and the sectors they choose, lacking women's role models and opportunities for networking were discussed. Practices such as legal framework in determining a minimum quota for women on boards of directors, sharing the gender structure and/or diversity policies of company boards with the public in a transparent manner and setting voluntary targets for gender diversity in boards and/or senior management were debated. It was stated that the G20 could lead with its initiatives by giving examples of best practices to be implemented by the public and private sectors.

 

T20 India's organizations, publications and upcoming events calendar can be found on their website.

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