In Romania, only one in nine women are members in the companies’ managing boards, says a “Women’s leadership in digital times” study conducted by Roland Berger with the support of Flash Tweet and L’International au Féminin.
Even if the Eurostat data point to a high share of Romanian women in the management positions (41% compared to the EU average of 36%), the reality is that only 11% of the members of the managing boards are women in Romania, while the average in the European Union stands at 27%.
“We have seen in the past years many changes in the management structure of the big companies in Romania- the average age of female managers is lower nowadays than 10 years ago and there are definitely more women in top management or in the managing boards than 5-10 years ago,” said Andra Ioana, Senior Project Manager within Roland Berger Romania.
“If ten years ago we usually saw women almost exclusively in such positions as CFO or HR manager, at present women are covering the entire range of management jobs: Marketing, Sales, Operations, Strategy, or, many times General Manager“, she added.
However, gender equality in Romania continues to be a topic generating controversies, despite many successful business stories involving women. Salaries, incomes, healthcare, distribution on the labour market, medical or maternal leave, training and competences, working hours and the balance between professional and personal life, are only some of the issues affected by the gender gap, which should be higher on the public agenda.
Overall, the study shows that women are still under-represented in managerial jobs and jobs with a high level of responsibility: only 20% of members of boards of directors are women, and there are twice as many male managers as female managers in France and Germany. While some countries are succeeding in reducing this gap, like France, which tripled its share of women on boards of directors between 2010 and 2016, others are struggling to do so, like China, whose proportion of women on boards of directors has not changed since 2010. Women face a “glass ceiling” that blocks their access to the highest positions and responsibilities. This ceiling has cracked a little, but it has yet to be broken. In addition, more women than men are stuck at lower positions early in their careers – called the “sticky floor”. For women, the path towards leadership roles is narrow.
The study underlined that digital may help reduce these gaps and increase women’s presence in the professional life and in top management positions.
The digital revolution has reduced the job barriers and also the companies’ costs and has enabled new business paradigms, which are more favorable to women as leaders.
Romania for instance is ranking second after Bulgaria in the top European countries boasting the largest share of women working in the IT&C sector (26% of the total employees). Yet, women are under-represented in this sector.
“To lure much more women in the digital industry the associated benefits and opportunities should be promoted more intensely, but also the success stories of the women who performed in this field“, the things the Senior Project Manager Roland Berger Romania.
“The digital can represent a major way to promote gender equality and can endorse the development of the female leadership in Romania, by capitalising several aspects such as: more flexible working hours, the possibility of working remotely, more transparency in measuring the results and giving rewards”.
“The battle for gender equality is also played out in children’s early years. We must encourage teachers to get more girls involved in science,” considers Céline Calvez, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs and Education in the French National Assembly.