Unemployment rates in the Czech Republic have been the lowest Europe-wide for some time now. The latest data on employment levels is set to be released by the Labour Office on Friday, but already now analysts have told the Czech News Agency that they expect unemployment to have sunk in April to 2.8 percent compared to 3 percent in March. The need for workers is also leading to women taking on more “unusual” jobs, Czech Television reports.
More and more Czech women are opening their own e-shops, according to a survey by the company Shoptet, providing a platform for some 13,000 online stores. Citing the findings, every sixth e-shop on average is owned by a businesswoman rather than businessman, Czech Radio reports. For many, opening an online store begins from a hobby, anything from clothing for pets, to doll collecting or board games. Gradually, their passion becomes their business.
The Czech Republic’s representative on the European Commission, Věra Jourová, has presented proposals for a 40-percent quota for women on company boards. Under the ANO politician’s plan, firms whose non-executive directors are more than 60 percent male would have to prioritise women when candidates of equal merit were being considered. Ms. Jourová told The Guardian newspaper ahead of Monday’s announcement that women made up 65 percent of university graduates in Europe so it made sense to draw on that talent and investment. Previous EU efforts to introduce such a quota scheme were blocked by a number of states.
The Czech Republic has one of the lowest shares of female IT students within Europe. What’s even more alarming, the country comes last when it comes to the number of women working in the field, which is less than 10 percent. I spoke to Barbora Bühnová from Czechitas, an organisation trying to involve more women in IT, and I first asked her about the reasons behind this trend:
Women make up 44 percent of the country’s workforce but the vast majority still earn significantly less than men holding similar positions. Surveys indicate that the wage gap is seven thousand crowns a month on average in the private sector and five thousand in the public sphere. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is now striving to change that with a five year project that includes guidelines and benefits for employers as well as advice for women on how to address the issue at job interviews. I asked Veronika Šprincová of Forum 50 % how
The cabinet is this week due to discuss legislation aimed at increasing equality for Czech women, who make up the majority of university graduates but are far less visible in the highest echelons of business and politics. The new plan envisages a gradual approach to increasing female representation.
Proposals to increase female representation at ministries and state-owned enterprises are to be discussed by the cabinet next week, Czech Television reported. The plan submitted by the minister for legislation and human rights, Jiří Dienstbier, envisages women holding 40 percent of senior positions. Mr. Dienstbier says the process should be gradual, with his “+1” strategy involving one woman being added at the top level of institutions every year. It also includes a provision for more gender equality on selection panels and a guarantee of 40 percent of places for women on candidate lists in elections.