The presence of women in leadership positions likely enhances a company's prosperity through increased productivity and economic contributions. Women should definitely be part of top management. That this idea needs support is also known by the organizers of the first Equal Pay Day conference, which will take place this fall in Bratislava.
Men Supporting Women
Vladimír Janík is a trusted advisor to a broad range of leaders and top executives. With 25- years of experience, he has devoted the past 16 years to consulting, leveraging his extensive expertise to support leaders from diverse sectors, particularly in the IT/Telco and financial services. As one of the driving forces behind Menity, an international Executive Search firm he helped establish, he matches leadership talent with outstanding leadership career opportunities.
In our interview, Vladimir offers insights into his advocacy for women's career advancement, identifies critical gaps in gender inequality and equal pay, and articulates his vision for equality's societal role.
When you hear "gender inequality," does it evoke images of a traditional Slovak family?
When asked if the term "gender inequality" evokes thoughts of a traditional Slovak family, I don't immediately picture one. However, I am aware of the deep-rooted cultural and historical influences that shape our perceptions of gender roles in society. Through my work at Menity, encountering various cultural and social norms has significantly enhanced my awareness of this issue's complexities.
How do you see the issue of gender inequality in your professional sphere?
In my capacity at Menity, where I am often engaged in talent acquisition for leadership positions, I confront gender equality issues. Despite noticeable advancements, there remains a persistent pay and professional status gap between men and women. At Menity, we are committed to guiding our clients toward equitable and transparent pay structures and supporting advancing gender equality at every managerial tier.
What changes should men consider to prevent discrimination against women in their presence?
It is crucial for men to actively listen to and understand the needs and perspectives of women to prevent discriminatory practices. Eliminating prejudiced beliefs and stereotypes is essential to ensure that job performance and compensation are determined by merit-based criteria rather than gender.
How should women approach gender equality in partnerships?
Women should actively advocate for their rights and set firm boundaries in partnerships to promote equality. Women need to be self-assured and bold in expressing their needs and viewpoints while cultivating a culture of shared respect and understanding with their partners. Although each relationship is unique, the cornerstone of a successful partnership lies in collaborative effort and mutual respect.
Gender Inequality in the Workplace
Strengthening the position of women in the workplace is primarily associated with men's respect. Should men in the workplace also contribute to gender equality?
To fortify the role of women in the workplace, it's essential that men not only respect but actively champion gender equality. The workplace can transform when men show respect and proactively support initiatives that foster gender equality.
What kind of support can women expect at Menity?
At Menity, we help to elevate women's roles in the professional world. Our support is multifaceted: on the one hand, we focus on sourcing and recruiting talented women for leadership positions; on the other, we partner with our clients to help them create more equal opportunities, fostering women's career growth. We also assist our clients in developing and executing various initiatives and strategies designed to facilitate career advancement for women.
How do you support mothers in transitioning back to work after maternity leave?
To assist mothers (our candidates) returning from maternity leave, we provide continuous support and actively ease their transition into the professional sphere. We keep the lines of communication open throughout their leave and actively involve them in recruitment initiatives upon their return. We also understand the importance of continuous professional development. To this end, we encourage and aid these mothers to engage in further education and professional projects when feasible, helping them stay engaged and updated within their professional field.
Does Menity support women by providing more flexible work options?
Menity appreciates the essential need for work flexibility, particularly for women who often balance dual roles in their personal and professional lives. We're committed to enabling this adaptability, recognizing it as a fundamental component in fostering the professional growth of women.
As a leadership advisor, how often do you encounter women in top management positions?
In my advisory capacity, I frequently collaborate with women in senior leadership roles across our European and Slovak client base. The influence they wield and the concrete results they deliver stand as a testament to the ability of women to thrive in top management positions.
How common are women in leadership positions?
We frequently interact with women in top leadership roles in our client collaborations. These women's steady leadership and significant contributions testify to their abilities and success in holding top leadership positions.
Is the representation of women in leadership positions adequate?
There remains a disparity, even with the increasing number of women in management. We would like to see a more significant representation of women in leadership roles.
Ambassador of the Equal Pay Day Conference
You've taken on the ambassador role for Slovakia's inaugural Equal Pay Day conference with pride. Can you tell us why?
I firmly believe that gender should not determine one's access to opportunities or equality. As an ambassador, I'm committed to promoting equal opportunities and enhancing awareness around the issue of pay disparity. At the helm of Menity, which connects exceptional talents with leadership opportunities, I've observed the profound effects of inequality on career progression. It's my goal to use this platform to drive meaningful change in this regard.
How do you suggest to communicate about gender inequality?
When addressing gender inequality, engaging in open, transparent, and empathetic communication is essential. Creating a dialogue that welcomes all voices and facilitates a secure exchange of diverse viewpoints is vital. Such an approach is instrumental in tearing down the barriers and debunking the myths that persist around gender inequality.
How can we transform entrenched stereotypes?
Transforming stereotypes demands sustained, long-term efforts with a strong educational focus. We need to reform our educational system to embrace and promote diversity. Additionally, it's crucial to promote balanced gender representation across media, educational resources, and leadership roles. Such initiatives are essential in cultivating a new generation of role models and establishing norms that mirror a more inclusive and diverse society.
How can a modern society be built where men and women are equal?
Creating a modern society where gender equality is the reality involves a comprehensive approach integrating legislative reforms, cultural shifts, and personal development. Company policies need to be crafted to ensure equal opportunities for everyone. Promoting gender diversity in the workplace is critical, actively removing the systemic barriers limiting women's access to opportunities. Education plays a pivotal role; from a young age, people should be taught the importance of equality and how to uphold it in daily life. With persistent efforts in these areas, we can create a society where gender equality is embedded in the fabric of everyday life, transforming principles into practice.
Stay tuned for further insights, updates, and opportunities about Business Service Centers topics. Follow us on LinkedIn or Subscribe to our newsletter to receive industry trends, exclusive insights, and expert advice directly.
Interview by Akcne Zeny magazine for the Equal Pay Day Slovakia
To access the original article in the Slovak language posted, please visit here.