Written by: Renée LeMoine
Photo by: Jan Vágner
Manager for internal communication
Unilever has a clear principle behind recruitment process of individuals – to ensure that wherever we work, we access the best people – men and women regardless of background, religion, ethnic origin, nationality or sexual orientation. Merit is not about background or gender, it is about individual’s potential and professional abilities.
Women play an important role in our company. Proportion of men and women reflects the population structure – 55% of our employees are women. Our management consist of 30% women, and we have two women in top management – the chairman, Cornelia Röttger, and HR director, Dagmar Richardson. In the management trainee program 70% of participants are women.
The issue of balance, combining work and family in the life of our employees, is important for the company. Flexible working programs enable our employees, men and women to keep balance between work and private life. Furthermore Unilever offers women an opportunity to work for a part-time job during their maternity leave, to have a chance to be in touch with the job and to participate on projects. Conditions are judged individually, according to employee and company needs.
Also this could be one of the reasons why Unilever belongs to the most desired companies for graduates in the Czech Republic.
Human resources policies and rewards manager
Given T-Mobile’s recent global integration, we are undergoing rapid changes, including the recruitment and utilization of our female work force. Generally speaking, we have achieved a balance within the organization of 52% women, and 48% men, which closely matches the population as a whole. There appears to be little variance between these figures in the Czech Republic and elsewhere.
Our philosophy has always been to match the most qualified persons with specific positions. However, we recognize that there are less women in senior management positions. As a result, we have discussed building components into our management program for “employees with high potential” that would also encourage women to stay on with the company long enough to move into senior management.
T-Mobile wants to make the most of its existing employees, thus we see an opportunity to recruit women internally into non-traditional technical and IT fields, such as microwave planners or IT specialist, from already recruited staff that haven’t yet chosen a career path.
Corporate communications manager
Philips Central and Eastern Europe
Equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination is a principle deeply rooted in our company culture. Gender is not a criterion here. When managerial positions are filled, we always look for the right person to match the requirements of the position. As a result of this approach, there are many women in top managerial positions in central and eastern Europe.
Mentoring programs are in place for all relevant employees. Of course, when women are concerned, women questions are specifically covered within the process. Philips managers in the Czech Republic have undergone a special training for HR related issues concerning women to ensure that the equal opportunity principle is being implemented.
As a rule, we always try to have teams with balanced male and female representation on all levels, so in most cases there would be a female colleague on a higher position, who would naturally “bring up” her younger women colleagues. In my team of corporate communications in central and eastern Europe, there are four women, and we have a great working relationship bringing “best in class” results..
Regional human resources director
Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young’s intake of university graduates, both here and overseas, always has approximately even numbers of male and females. Our recruitment campaigns feature information and marketing materials that are designed to appeal to both genders.
As for promotion of women, the numbers are evenly balanced until the partner level. In the Czech Republic we have some women on flexible work arrangements, such as part-time work, so that they are better able to balance work and family commitments. Many participate in a mentoring scheme that offers positive role models and an opportunity to work through issues, whether personal or professional.
Globally there is a strong push within Ernst & Young to attract and retain women within the firm, not only on equity grounds, but also because we are investing in the career development of our female employees, yet losing their talent and experience before partnership. In addition, we need the diverse inputs and abilities of all our people. As a result, some of our member firms have introduced initiatives such as job share, part-time work, tele-commuting, targeted careers counseling, on-site childcare and subsidized elder care. These programs have increased the retention of female employees – and increased the options for many of our male staff, too.