IRINA GAIDA: WOMEN IN ECONOMY TO BE DISCUSSED AT THE EWF
One of the main topics of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum concerns the role of women in economy. Irina Gaida, Partner and Managing Director of The Boston Consulting Group company, shared more about the preparation of this discussion platform of the Forum.
The discussion platform will debate the contribution of women to economic development.
“There is an opinion that integrating women into the labour market affects negatively the growth of the economy, because of the subsequent deterioration of demographic indicators, particularly in the birth rate. However, there is also an opposite point of view emphasizing positive effects of women's involvement. They include productivity improvement, reduction of poverty and corruption, contribution to innovation character, and as a result acceleration of economic growth. We will discuss what economy loses without realising women’s potential. We will view effective programmes of economic growth through increasing women’s contribution and providing tools necessary for equal opportunities in the labour market. The preparation of this discussion platform of the Forum includes consultations with experts. It also includes exploration of the most effective domestic and international practices of improving gender dimensions of the business environment, governmental programmes of women’s involvement in the labour market, development of women’s entrepreneurship, and advancement of women leaders”, said Irina Gaida.
She stressed that the topics covered by the discussion platform would be of special interest to leaders in business and representatives of governmental authorities.
“We want all participants of all economic processes to be engaged in a dialogue. Only teamwork can help change the situation for the better”, she added.
The discussion platform will invite Russian and international speakers to share about different aspects of women’s self-realisation on career, family, and public life.
Irina Gaida believes that the role of women on all spheres of economy will only grow. Thanks to technology development, more professions will be accessible to women. In fact, many countries today have special programmes on women’s involvement in the labour market.
According to the speaker, concrete indicators can help measuring women’s contribution to economy.
“According to the new international study by BCG called ‘How Diversity among Leaders Contributes to Innovation Efficiency’, companies with diversified management achieve more success when introducing innovations in business. According to our records, such management provides almost half of the company's revenue through innovative products and services. Its revenue is almost 20% higher than that of companies with a more homogeneous management staff. The study also revealed that organisations with diversified management achieve the best financial results in general: their earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) are approximately 10% higher than in other organisations", commented Irina Gaida.
As stated by the speaker, more role models of women leaders are necessary for attracting more women to economy. Irina Gaida believes that the Russian Federation has many positive examples of women to follow. In Russia, women head many strategic directions of economy and are in boards of directors in major companies. Women leaders are engaged not only in women’s fields, but also in IT organisations, heavy industry, and transport sector. The Second EWF will contribute to sharing more role models of successful women.
Irina Gaida, as a member of Global Women in Energy Network, is interested in strengthening the prominence of women's agenda in Russia’s oil and gas industry and other fields.
“Within the framework of the discussion platform we want to share the positive example of our own company of how diversity contributes to business. BCG has a huge project called Women@BCG Growing Female Leaders. It aims at supporting women students and women professionals in their career development. The project will create special environment for them in the company and outside of it. The initiative includes part-time work programme, training, individual coaching, and regular meetings with managers at different levels”, said Irina Gaida.
In terms of the platform one will be able to learn more about the experience of different companies and countries, share effective practices, and exchange tools of supporting women.
“As I think, creation of horizontal communication between women leaders is one of the factors necessary to achieve gender equality in the labour market in Russia and abroad. I believe that joint examination of facts, discussion of problems, and searching solutions will help overcome the challenges we face in the labour market and work out the ways to address problems to fully realise women’s potential in the economy”, she finished.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov