According to data from the ABSL, an association representing companies in the business services sector, more women than men are employed at Czech centres. On average women occupy 59% of all posts in business centres, and up to 80% of all posts in some areas. The number of women in top positions in these companies is also rising, by approximately 15% year-on-year. Business services centres appeal to women managers by offering attractive benefits enabling them to combine a family with a career, which means that this segment is far ahead of other Czech companies in this regard.
ABSL data indicates that the ratio of women to men in Czech business centres is 5:4. This year the number of women in top positions has surpassed the number of men for the first time. And it is no wonder, companies are very interested in employing women and are trying to attract them by offering interesting benefits – for example the option of working from home, working part-time, flexible working hours, and even children’s play areas or company pre-school.
“There are many surveys establishing a relationship between company performance and the number of women in the management and this is why we focus on developing opportunities for female managers within the terms of the ABSL. We consider women an important pillar for further development of the entire segment,“ Jonathan Appleton, director of ABSL, stated, adding that there are still sectors that need more women: “We have enough women in centres specialising in finance, marketing or HR, but we are still seeking candidates for sectors, which remain dominated by men. IT is a typical example.“ According to the Business for Society organisation there is still a significant lack of women in managerial positions in the Czech Republic. For example, only 13.1 per cent of members of the supervisory boards of 250 of the biggest companies in the Czech Republic are women. “In this regard, the business services segment serves as an example to other segments and companies,“ says Jonathan Appleton.
According to Jan Skoták, member of the Board of Directors of ABSL and director of the regional Infosys Centre in the Czech Republic, achieving a managerial position in business services is motivating for women and also provides them with the security resulting from a growing and successful sector. “We very much want women in the management of Infosys, particularly if they have an education in IT. According to data from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports the number of female students at universities continues to rise and over 60% of all bachelors or masters graduates are now women. And this also has a positive impact on the number of candidates for managerial positions. Our goal is to have at least 50% women in the company’s management. For example our controlling company in India provides us with inspiration to achieve this goal.” Jan Skoták commented.
The SAP Services Company can also boast a large number of women in the company’s management. And it is no surprise, as 73% of all this company’s employees are women. Andrea Hepnerová, director of SAP Services and member of the Board of Directors of ABSL, says: “We try to attract women into managerial positions by offering various benefits, which most frequently focus on the flexibility of work and help with childcare. The average age of our employees is 31 years, which is the age at which women most frequently try to combine their job with a family. The 67% of women in our management is proof that our system works.”
According to Jonathon Appleton companies that are interested in employing women in managerial positions should try to keep them in contact with their job even when they are on maternity leave. According to information from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs only 2% of men in the Czech Republic go on parental leave. This means that it is mainly the women who stay at home with children, most frequently for a period of 5 to 6 years. With regard to the fact that the average age of a first-time mother in the Czech Republic is now over 30 years and employees in business services usually stay in one position for an average of 4 years, women are able to gain experience in a maximum of two positions after graduating from university and before going on parental leave. If they do not manage to remain in contact with their job while on parental leave, they find themselves practically back on the starting line after returning to work. “This is why our members try to maintain contact with women throughout their parental leave. The goal is to ensure they have uninterrupted access to developments in the sector and that they retain their know-how. After they return to work the numerous benefits offered should help them combine childcare with their work duties,“ Jonathan Appleton says and adds that in 2017 ABSL is planning on launching a number of strategic initiatives and programmes in support of the professional development of women after returning from parental leave, in cooperation with employers in the business services sector and partners.