Building on the momentum generated by the Chamber’s very successful 17th Tax Forum — Future-Proof Taxation: Shaping Behaviors and Economic Performanc
SHARE — aka SHARE – Promoting work-life balance in companies and a better sharing of care between men and women — is an EU-backed project implemented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs General Secretariat for Demography, Family Policy and Gender Equality (isotita.gr) in partnership with the Research Center for Gender Equality (KETHI) (kethi.gr) and Women On Top (womenontop.gr), the organization for the professional empowerment of women and for equality in the workplace, and co-financed by the European Commission’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Program (Grant Agreement Number: 881730 – SHARE REC-AG-2019 / REC-RGEN-WWLB-AG-2019). The project aims to tackle outdated gender roles and improve gender equality in Greece, particularly in regard to overcoming gender stereotypes in the family and to promoting a healthier work-family-private life balance. To this end, SHARE focuses on the working environment and workplace conditions and, taking into consideration the relevant European and national goals and priorities, works with companies of all sizes to improve and promote gender-inclusive and family-friendly workplace policies.
Working through a range of targeted and complementary activities, SHARE provides eligible companies with executive training opportunities, workshops on gender equality in the corporate environment and fostering an inclusive organizational culture, information on best practices to promote improved work-life-family balance, and a dedicated helpdesk to provide support in the design of implementation of a SHARE action plan, with the ultimate goal of up to accreditation with the SHARE Equality Label.
The first SHARE Equality Labels were awarded to 18 participating companies at a special event that took place in Athens on March 10, 2022. Speaking at the event, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Kostis Hatzidakis noted that, “With the SHARE Equality Label, the state recognizes companies that implement actions and policies for gender equality and elimination of prejudices and stereotypes. And at the same time, it seeks to encourage others to follow the same path. Tackling prejudice and discrimination is our main priority, and that is why, for the first time, the government has a deputy minister, Maria Syregela, who deals exclusively with these issues.”
On her part, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, responsible for Demography and Family Policy and Gender Equality, Maria Syregela congratulated the companies that developed policies to address stereotypical gender roles and implement gender-inclusive and family-friendly workplace policies. “For the first time in Greece, companies and enterprises have taken initiatives to harmonize personal and professional life and create a friendly working environment for both women and men,” she said, calling on all businesses in our country to promote gender equality in the workplace and emphasizing that the benefits will be manifold for both employees and the companies themselves. Also speaking at the event, KETHI Vice President Athanasia Xepapadakou elaborated on the pervasive existence of stereotypes across all social, economic and age groups and on their considerable impact on the way we view each other and develop our habits, practices and beliefs. “Achieving true gender equality in the workplace,” she pointed out, “can be of major benefit to society. The SHARE project aims at exactly that: to tackle gender stereotypes within a family and consolidate a woman’s carrier and personal life. Moreover, the project aims to highlight the male role, as a father, and to encourage men to take up equal responsibilities in the household as their female counterparts.”
Speaking directly to Business Partners, Stella Kasdagli, Co-Founder of Women On Top, noted that, “The SHARE program, and the accompanying Equality Label, has become a wonderful tool in our, and our partners’, quest to support more businesses and organizations to become more equitable and inclusive — both as employers and as providers of products and services. It has helped more than 30 pioneering organizations (whether they succeeded in obtaining the Label or not) to look in the mirror of their corporate responsibility towards their employees, to identify their strengths and the areas in which they can make improvements, to collect data and set goals around gender equity and inclusion, and of course, to create concrete strategies that will allow them to reach those goals. At Women On Top we believe that you don’t rise to the level of your expectations, you usually fall to the level of your systems, and we are proud and grateful that this partnership has allowed us to help more organizations start building those systems for themselves and for their supply chains.”
In this issue’s very special Thought Leaders section, we showcase some of the companies that were amongst the first to be awarded the SHARE Equality Label. Over the following pages, representatives of these companies discuss their new status as SHARE Equality Label holders and the ways in which their companies promote a healthier work-and-family-life balance in business and contribute toward a better distribution of care responsibilities between women and men. They also let us in on their plans from here on in terms of the development of evaluation methodology and educational material.
For more info on SHARE, visit share.isotita.gr/en/
Providing the Tools for a Healthy Family Life
By Thalia Andriopoulou, Global HR BP PH, HR Manager Greece and Unify Global Diversity Spoc, Atos
Atos Greece being one of the first 18 companies to be awarded the SHARE Equality Label is a dream come true and the recognition of multiple efforts to ensure our workplace ticks all the boxes for someone to thrive in his/her work while he/she does not have to worry about being able to cope with the rest of the roles of everyday life.
As an activist brand, we want to accelerate social change. We believe that business can be a force for good
At Atos Greece, fostering a culture that supports a healthy work-life balance, being an inclusive, diverse, and ethical employer of choice, and creating a positive working environment that supports personal and collective development have always been the pillars of our strategy and culture.
Our decisions are based in meritocracy. The gender pay gap, equal opportunities for learning and career development and mentorship programs are always monitored. Equally important is the provision of tools for a healthy family life; gifts on special occasions such as weddings or the birth of a child, an additional eight days of paternity leave (on top of that stipulated by the new legal framework), guides for new parents, making it possible for both parents to use school leave simultaneously, as well as additional paid leave for both parents are only a few of the ways work-life balance and a better distribution of care responsibilities between men and women are promoted.
Staying true to SHARE certification, our plans for the future include the ongoing and up-to-date education of our employees and management team on gender equality, bias, and sexual harassment, as well as increasing the number of women in leadership positions and partnering with NGOs supporting women’s empowerment.
The Future Is Equal
By Vasso Balou (she/her), Activism Coordinator, The Body Shop Greece
The path that leads to gender equality is long and difficult, but the SHARE Equality Label is a milestone that we must celebrate, not only as a company but also as a society.
As an activist brand, we want to accelerate social change. We believe that business can be a force for good
The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick, a very different woman with a very different perspective far ahead of her time: Roddick was a feminist, an idealist, an activist, a pioneer. Through Community Fair Trade — the award-winning pioneering sourcing program that we launched in 1987 — we drive real change by supporting the financial independence of women around the world living in rural areas, with limited economic opportunities. It’s the biggest fair trade program in the cosmetics industry.
But we also wanted to do our part at the local level, in order to bring change from the inside. We stand proud that The Body Shop is among the first 18 companies in Greece to be awarded the SHARE Equality Label. At The Body Shop we believe it is the responsibility of all of us to create a world that respects rights and freedoms without discrimination. As an activist brand, we want to accelerate social change. We believe that business can be a force for good. We stand for equal rights, so we stand for women’s rights. We are here to break down boundaries and barriers created by stereotypes, prejudice and exclusion. We want to create a better world for future generations. This is why we will keep fighting for a fairer and more beautiful world. Together we are unstoppable!
Promoting Sustainable Business Practices to Achieve Gender Equality in a Modern, Inspiring and Inclusive Workplace
By Marianna Besi, Senior HR Generalist, ATHEXGroup
ATHEXGroup recognizes the substantial role that sustainable development has in today’s world and therefore develops significant actions on ESG — environmental, social and governance — topics while also participating in the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, aiming at promoting sustainable business practices to achieve gender equality and long-term economic value. As an operator of the Greek capital market, the Athens Stock Exchange has a key role to play in influencing the Greek market and the country’s business world to promote sustainable business practices on gender issues that in the long run will lead to a competitive advantage for Greek companies, through optimal talent management, more effective decisionmaking, higher productivity, increased customer satisfaction and attraction, and reputation and reliability.
We are committed to maintaining a work environment that fosters respect and values diversity, equality and inclusion
In this context, and with greater focus on the gender equality dimension, we participated in the SHARE project, and we are very proud to be among the first 18 companies in Greece to be awarded the SHARE Equality Label, which reflects our commitment to actively promoting and supporting gender equality and work-life balance practices within the workplace.
Through our code of ethics and our recently published Gender Equality Plan, we are committed to maintaining a work environment that fosters respect and values diversity, equality and inclusion. We are vigorously working toward an equal opportunities environment by communicating transparently with our employees, collecting feedback and implementing practices that are tailored to their needs and the needs of a modern, inspiring and inclusive workplace.
Values for The Future
By Nikolaos Biris, Senior HR Business Partner, Hellas Gold
SHARE is the national implementation of the European commitment to promoting work-life balance and gender equality. It’s a fundamentally European commitment that aims to tackle gender stereotypes in the family and in the workplace, so, of course, we at Hellas Gold are happy and proud to be one of the first companies in Greece to be awarded the SHARE Equality Label.
SHARE reflects the fundamental values that every modern business needs to cultivate and conduct itself by — principles and policies that Hellas Gold has long implemented to develop a corporate culture that promotes equal treatment and recognition regardless of gender. We have in place a policy framework that ensures that the training, evaluation and professional development of our employees is transparent, non-discriminatory and based on merit, in order to create a truly efficient, fair and inclusive workplace. We also work to ensure adequate representation of women across the company and in leadership roles, provide ongoing diversity and inclusion training, operate a pro-active bullying and sexual harassment policy and safe reporting system, and offer family-friendly working arrangements for women and men alike.
Equality and respect for diversity and the work-life balance are values without which no modern company can look to the future with optimism. We welcome the initiative of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to establish the SHARE Equality Label as an institution in the country’s business environment. Particularly during challenging times, such as we face today, businesses must stand by their people if they are to survive and prosper.
A Workplace Built on Empathy, Equality and Respect
By Konstantina Dourou, HR Manager Greece and Cyprus, Printec Group
We are very proud and honored to be one of the first 18 companies in Greece to receive the SHARE Equality Label, recognizing companies that work to promote gender equality.
At Printec, we aspire to make digital transactions safer, faster and easier for people as we shape the way towards a more accessible and sustainable world. We create technology solutions that make everyday life easier, and our people are our most valuable asset and our priority; at Printec, it doesn’t matter where someone comes from or what they look like. Our culture, our open and collaborative workplace and our passion for technology inspire our people to bring their experience and true self to work, reimagine business and take on new challenges. We are committed to supporting our employees to unfold their skills, reach their full potential and develop their careers and to providing a friendly workplace based on empathy, equality and respect. With 37% of our management positions held by women, we are actively supporting gender equality and inclusion in the corporate environment.
our people are our most valuable asset and our priority
As we enter a new era for the workplace, we prioritize the wellbeing of our people, and we embrace change by focusing on what really matters: achieving professional success while making personal aspirations a reality. We pay people according to their skills against the same profile, we encourage our people to design their own work schedule with our FlexWork initiative, we offer more paid leave to truly support family responsibilities, we provide gender equality training, and we strive to create the best employee experience possible.
From a Culture of Equality to a Culture of Belonging
By Epaminondas Farmakis, Founder and Director of Programs, Fundraising and Strategic Partnerships, HumanRights360
We are proud that HumanRights 360 is the first civil society organization in Greece to be awarded the SHARE Equality Label. The constant goal to build vibrant, tolerant societies is at the very core of our mandate. Our activities focus on equal, non-discriminatory access to services and on the rights of vulnerable populations. Our organization considers gender equality as a cross-cutting issue within our operation. That constitutes a collective goal to be achieved and effectively communicated within the civil society ecosystem.
The constant goal to build vibrant, tolerant societies is at the very core of our mandate
As a new civil society organization in Greece, our participation in the SHARE project, allowed us to work towards a common organizational culture of gender equality and institutionalize it through our gender equality policy. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity by ensuring a balanced and encouraging work environment. For us, reconciliation of professional and private life does not simply entail the equal division of time between the two but considers individual circumstances and promotes effective and flexible collaborations that maximize professional capacity and prospects, regardless of gender or family status. That said, we maintain a zero gender pay gap and balanced participation of women and men in managerial positions and scientific teams. We promote male parental engagement with extra days off, and we offer flexible arrangements for pregnant women and parents, while “emergency days” are also activated when needed, so employees can come to the office with their children. This approach has an empowering effect on our personnel, promoting a sense of belonging in an equal opportunities environment.
Debugging Equality In the Workplace
By Vera Kolovou, Business Development Manager, Egritos Group – Synergasia
One of the leading software development companies in Greece, Egritos Group – Synergasia provides specialized software and sophisticated IT services and solutions to public authorities, organizations and legal entities across Greece. We are proud that more than 90 of the country’s 332 municipalities are our customers and trust our products. Years of knowhow, expertise and industry specialization and daily contact with a variety of organizations constitute our competitive advantages and ensure the quality of our products and services, while we are also certified according to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 27001:2013 standards.
we believe in innovation not only in technology but also in the way we build our working environment
Throughout all our work, projects and initiatives, our approach aims to create a powerful mechanism to address the core triptych of dynamic local government, flexible personnel and satisfied citizens. To this end, we believe in innovation not only in technology but also in the way we build our working environment.
Receiving the SHARE Equality Label made us proud and strengthened our will to stay focused on consolidating a good work-life balance for our employees. Our participation in the SHARE project was a great experience and a great chance to empower and establish positive working environments and values. The process gave us the opportunity to reflect on and improve our practices, to empower ourselves, to better record and communicate our ideas, and to envision and implement a framework for further promoting equality and inclusion in an innovative and innovating workplace. We are committed to continuing to cultivate a work environment with respect for every individual.
Putting Diversity, Inclusion and Equality Into Practice
By Katerina Koulouri, Partner, Head of People Experience and Culture, Grant Thornton
Grant Thornton is proudly among the first 18 companies in Greece that received the SHARE Equality Label, marking a new destination in our ongoing journey to create a working environment of equal opportunities and equal pay for our people through the promotion of practices and initiatives aimed at gender equality.
Gender equality and the principles of diversity and inclusion are some of the core values of our organization
In 2018, we set the firm’s target to reach a gender split of 40% – 60% by 2020. Today, we are happy to say that 45% of our people and 45% of our new hires are women, while the percentage of women in leadership positions amounts to 34% and the percentage of female partners in our Management Committee to 27%. Despite the great and ongoing challenges of recent years, we have developed mechanisms that guarantee equal opportunities for all. Gender equality and the principles of diversity and inclusion are some of the core values of our organization, which we aspire to implement on a daily basis. For more than 17 years, Grant Thornton has been highlighting the progress of women in senior management through the annual Women in Business survey. But we do not only focus on monitoring and analyzing the actions implemented by businesses to improve gender diversity; we also ensure that we apply these actions to every aspect of our organization. We are more than ever invested in our people, our most important asset, and ensuring a safe and balanced working environment is a primary goal for us. We go beyond what’s expected, following practices that are at the core of inclusion and equality, and will continue to do so until there is no need to talk about labels and guides. Till it becomes a collective journey that we live every day.
Supporting Equality and Inclusion for Health and Happiness
By Chrysa Kyriakou, CEO, Mentor Solutions
Recognized as one of the leading accounting and ERP support providers in the country, Mentor Solutions IKE works with public sector clients, mostly municipal authorities, across Greece. To deliver our dedicated services, our people usually have to work both at our headquarters and at clients’ premises, working against challenging project deadlines while also dealing with extensive travel to clients throughout the country.
We want our people to feel comfortable in all aspects of their professional lives
Consequently, we have had to take action to ensure a healthy work-life balance for our people, and have introduced a whole range of relevant measures over the six years of our operation.
We devote many working hours to dedicated seminars to inform staff on their working rights, and we also conduct seminars on issues such as sexism, sexual harassment, mobbing, and other forms of workplace violence. Specifically for this, an internal process has been set up to ensure all employees are able to confidentially report any instances of harassment or discrimination in the workplace. Moreover, our aim is to support gender equality, having always top of mind to keep a balanced gender ratio, with a stable salary policy for every new arrival or improvement. We want our people to feel comfortable in all aspects of their professional lives. Indicative actions taken to this end include remote working days, team building meetings, and late office attendance for people traveling the previous day.
Mentor is honored that our efforts to keep our people healthy and happy have led to us being awarded the SHARE Equality Label. We will keep our commitment to improving work-life balance and hope to be an example for other companies as well.
Evolving Toward Gender Equity
By Angelina Michail, DE&I Manager, Europe, and Human Resources Manager, Greece, Ecolab
At Ecolab Greece, we have always fostered a strong culture of inclusion and hold empowering our associates among our core values. So embarking on a journey to gender equity and better work-life balance in the past two years has only been a natural evolution and has been well received by everyone in the organization.
embarking on a journey to gender equity and better work-life balance has only been a natural evolution
The SHARE Equality Label serves for us as an affirmation that all our efforts are directionally right and comes also as a recognition of the huge amount of work done throughout the organization by all of our teams, from senior leadership to line managers and from our employee resource groups to, last but not least, our human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) team.
We are proud to export as best practice to Ecolab Europe work-life balance and gender equity programs that we have created at Ecolab Greece, including our signature programs EmpowHer — a gender equality program that aims to improve gender diversity, accelerate the advancement of women in leadership and field sales roles and create a more inclusive environment in order to drive business growth — and Moms back to Work — aiming to create a supportive and gender equal workplace for new moms before, during and after the maternity period and to ensure a smooth return to work by providing comprehensive resources and guidelines for associates and line managers. We are looking forward to expanding our gender equity and work-life balance initiatives and including them in our 2022-2025 DE&I strategy.
A Workplace for People
By Vasso Pouli, CEO, Commit Global
At Commit Global our mission is to provide our customers with reliable language solutions by adopting an incisive perspective to their needs; powered by a sense of respect for our customers and our people, we want to be a partner of choice for both. Our way of achieving this is by engaging in meaningful initiatives and by being a crowd who cares. We care about our customers, we care about our work — we love it! — we care about our team, and we care about people. And people have many roles that change over time. We want to be able to include these roles and what they bring in our team and our work, and we want our actions to have an impact on the world.
being a partner of choice for our people means providing a workplace environment of equal treatment and equal opportunities
This is why Commit Global decided to be one of the companies that participated in the first round of the SHARE Equality Label project, which aims at dealing with traditional gender roles within the family, promoting work-life balance and highlighting the role of men within the family in order to encourage them to share equally with women the duties of caring.
For us, being a partner of choice for our people means providing a workplace environment of equal treatment and equal opportunities in employment and decisionmaking, as well as in compensation and benefits. A workplace environment that acknowledges and respects diversity in culture, language, gender, and personal choices. A workplace environment where work and life co-exist harmoniously and which lives by and promotes these values.
A Matter of Respect
By Maria Sinani, HR Executive, Wella Company
Wella Company has been proudly awarded the SHARE Equality Label, sealing the long-term importance of work and private life balance as well as the promotion of principles of diversity, inclusion and equal treatment of genders within the company.
97% of our people feel that they can make full use of their potential regardless of gender, age, cultural background, etc. — 100% feel that they are treated with respect
At Wella, we endorse flexible work arrangements such as work from home, short Friday and leave for personal reasons or dependent care, while offering extended parental leave and reduced working hours for both female and male employees. Gender statistics on hiring, promoting and rewarding highlight the almost equal representation of genders in the company. Moreover, we train our people, and especially our people managers who not only lead teams but are also involved in the recruitment process, on non-discriminatory policies on the basis of sex, age, national origin, socio-economic background, marital or parental status, religion or disability, through voluntary, employee-led groups that express the values of mutual understanding and shared community. At the same time, our Employee Engagement Survey revealed that 97% of our people feel that they can make full use of their potential regardless of gender, age, cultural background, etc., while 100% feel that they are treated with respect.
Moving forward, Wella will offer training sessions on discrimination, harassment and empowerment for all employees across the company. It will also add kindergarten and camp benefits for working parents, continuing to provide equal opportunities for all genders and fair wages for work of equal value, fostering an even more inclusive organizational culture that promotes work-life balance for all employees.
The Human Factor
By Francois Johannes Theron, General Director, Del Monte Hellas Single Member SA
Del Monte Hellas Single Member SA, a subsidiary of Fresh Del Monte Produce, maintains a fruit and vegetable processing plant outside Larissa. We are very proud and at the same time humbled to have been awarded the SHARE Equality Label.
Our goal is to eliminate stereotypical gender roles in family and work environments
Human resources are at the top of our list of priorities. In 2020, we obtained the amfori BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) certificate with the highest possible grade (A), which is a code of ethics; with strict standards aimed at improving working conditions in relation to human rights and workers’ rights. Receiving the SHARE Equality Label in 2022 proves our ongoing commitment to equal treatment policies, oriented toward strengthening the equal participation of women and men in the labor market and in improving their daily lives. Our goal is to eliminate stereotypical gender roles in family and work environments.
The nature of the Del Monte Greece operation also lends itself well to employing a big number of women due to the dexterity and touch required in the processing of food products. As such, Del Monte Greece remains proudly one of the bigger employers of women in the industry.
At Del Monte Greece, we believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace where every employee can thrive and be their authentic selves is essential to our success. Together we create and foster an inclusive work culture that drives innovation, expands perspectives, and challenges viewpoints. Our team members are at the center of what we do and there is no room for discrimination whatsoever.