Five private companies operating in Moldova committed themselves to apply family-friendly workplace policies for about 5,000 employees. In this regard, the companies signed cooperation agreements with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The event is part of the project “More Opportunities: Gender-Responsive Family Policies for the Private Sector in the Western Balkans and Moldova” that is financed by the Austrian Development Agency and is implemented by UNFPA in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, IPN reports.
UNFPA Resident Representative to Moldova Nigina Abaszada said the program aims to support the employees in perfectly combining the professional life and family life. The 5,000 employees of the five companies will benefit from an environment that will be more sensitive to the gender dimension and they will this way be able to combine family life and work. This is important for parents with small children and for employees who have to look after family members who are older. The pandemic placed these problems at the top of the agenda, becoming a challenge for employers. That’s why policies are needed to create a more sustainable workplace.
Austria’s Ambassador to Moldova Stella Avallone said Austria is a gender equality champion. This principle was incorporated into Austria’s development assistance and programs that are implemented in the Republic of Moldova. As a key partner of the UNFPA in Moldova and as a partner at the regional level, they cooperate so as to extend the opportunities for women and men as regards the balance between work and family life. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are a precondition for reducing poverty, for economic and social development. The inequalities on the labor market are caused by the responsibilities of women, namely to raise children and to care for family members. These responsibilities should be equally distributed between women and men. Here, the private sector is a critical partner in catalyzing sustainable development and promotion of equality of opportunity.
Aliona Crețu, of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, said the investments in friendly policies in Moldova ate important amid the demographic crisis. The population’s reproductive character depends greatly on the division of responsibilities between the mother and father and is one of the main conditions that ensure a balance between work and professional life. The financial stimuli and the combination of professional life with the family one and offering of social services can have a positive effect on the demographic situation, including a hire birth rate and the wellbeing of families with children. A number of measures were taken for the purpose, such as introduction of paternity leave, extension of crèche services, reformation of the childcare leave and others.
Sergiu Harea, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the project is important for Moldova’s economy and for the country in general. The gender policies are very important as the persons spend most of the time at the workplace, while the policies aimed at ensuring gender equality create that convenience for increased productivity at work and a competitive environment for productivity.
Panilino has about 200 employees. The company’s executive director Diana Donțu said that one of the preconditions that made them take part in the project is the fact that the people are their most important resource. 90% of their employees are women who have to assume the role of mother at a certain moment. The absence of these employees for a period of three years has a negative impact. The women also lose the accumulated experience and meet with professional frustrations. When they return to work, the adjustment period is long and can end with resignation. That’s why the mothers should be supported to ensure a balance between family life and professional life so as to faster return to work, by founding crèches, etc. The men are encouraged to take part in the family life.
Premier Energy Distribution has over 700 employees and more than 70% of them are men. Premier Energy Distribution country manager Jose Luis Gomez Pascual noted that for them this project is very important and they want first of all to learn the practices applied by other companies and to also share their experience. Their company applies gender equality policies and the employees enjoy the same remuneration and work conditions.
The companies that are taking part in the project are: Orange, Panilino, Premier Energy, Fidesco, and Asena textil SRL.