2nd Int'l Forum on Women's Entrepreneurship: Government is pursuing substantial gender equality, says Zacharaki


The Greek government's continuous efforts for achieving and safeguarding substantial gender equality were underlined by both Social Cohesion & Family Minister Sofia Zacharaki and Development Minister Kostas Skrekas at the 2nd International Forum on Women's Entrepreneurship - 'Women Who Win', being held in Athens on Friday.

Zacharaki underlined that the effort for the substantial participation of women in the business arena and their emergence as leaders in their chosen field is complex, as it is both an issue that relates to entrepreneurship per se as well as a broader social issue.

It is imperative to point out that when women play a leading role in any professional field, "it is indeed so by their own choosing - not because it was imposed on them", she stressed.

She also underlined the significance of cooperation among public services and ministries on issues of equal opportunities and equal treatment.

To that effect, Zacharaki pointed out that initiatives relating to nurseries, maternity benefits, or increasing the participation of women in administrative boards all help to achieve equality.

Skrekas observed that women's unemployment has dropped to 12% from 21% five years ago, although overall unemployment has fallen to 9.9%. The government's goal is for the wage gap between men and women to drop below 3% by 2023.

The rate of women's entrepreneurship entering higher levels of management reached 25.5% last year, Skrekas added. He also noted that businesses headed by a woman, per specific data, show better profitability indicators.

Also speaking at the forum, Athens Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) President Sofia Kounenaki-Efremoglou noted that the chamber will soon proceed with conducting targeted research on female entrepreneurship, adding that "female contribution is, potentially, at least equal to that of men, while there is also a particular type of dynamism and originality in women that remains untapped."

The 2nd International Forum on Women's Entrepreneurship is organised by the Athens Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) and the National Chamber Network of Women Entrepreneurs (NCNWE).

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