Why Is Charity a Women’s Business?
Expert opinion by Janssen Russia Managing Director
Philanthropy and socially beneficial activity has an important position in the work of Janssen, which is a pharmaceutical department of Johnson & Johnson. The organisation carries out several large-scale projects. Katerina Pogodina, Managing Director of Janssen Russia, told about the formats of the company’s charity work and shared the expert opinion on the role of women in the sphere.
Katerina Pogodina - Managing Director of Janssen, Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical department in Russia and CIS
According to Ms. Pogodina, modern world has no difference between male and female approach to philanthropy, be it private or corporate.
Janssen Managing Director commented: “Charity could have been considered more of a female sphere because women are generally more empathic and may be more emotional while processing other people’s problems.”
Over a long period of time, women were torn away from real business and management. Historically, they were running the household and raising children. At the same time, men were the ones to do philanthropy. According to the expert, modern philanthropy is equally male and female. Men preside over such charitable foundations as Help Needed with its ‘Takie Dela’, todogood, So-edineniye, and the AIDS.Center alongside women.
“The quality of a manager’s work does not depend on whether they wear a skirt or trousers; it depends on their managerial competencies,” Katerina Pogodina said. The same applies to philanthropy.
Russian charity is now being institutionalised. When renewing the legislation, Russian Government considered the sphere as one of the priorities. Ms. Pogodina explained: “However, philanthropy is still impulse. We lack structure, in both organising our work and evaluating it. Today, the sector is rather vulnerable, as unfair actors undermine the credibility of sponsors, donees, and volunteers.
People and organisations appear having ambitions and desire to do good, but still lacking competence. The situation will be rectified in the course of time. The main thing is that people have the necessity of helping others.”
Working in a multinational company like Johnson & Johnson provides an opportunity of exchanging experience internationally, including in philanthropy and participating in international projects. Katerina Pogodina shared: “Members of our company from Russia and CIS and their international colleagues have an opportunity to apply for internship in some other country for supporting any local non-profit organisation pro bono. The company’s Russian department started some working formats. For example, when leaders of patient and philanthropy organisations meet our company’s managing director. It demonstrates our openness and transparency for our partners from the non-profit sector while helping us maintain the direct dialogue.”
Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Boykov