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Building Better Workplaces. Empowering Businesses. 
April 2020

#EachforEqual

Last month, BCGE and our members, partners and supporters celebrated International Women's Day following this year's theme: #EachforEqual. We emphasized how collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world. Individually, we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.

Gender equality is essential for economies and communities to thrive, which is why empowering women economically is not only a fundamental aspect of promoting gender equality, but it is vital to enhancing business competitiveness, fueling inclusive economic growth and building equitable societies.

Let’s be #EachforEqual in this journey to #BuildBetterWorkplaces and #EmpowerBusinesses!

International Women's Day: Journey to Equality

Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating International Women's Day on March 4th at our membership appreciation dinner! It was inspiring to see BCGE's members, partners, supporters, Board of Directors, Senior Government officials, as well as CEOs and top management from leading businesses come together to celebrate current members who are doing excellent work in gender equality. 

BCGE Chair Daw Nang Lang Kham, shared her vision for the path to achieving equality in Myanmar, stating that “The most important step to advancing equality is to achieve meaningful participation at all levels of decision making” and that there is “a paramount need for more senior leaders in promoting female rights.”  

“Pursuing gender parity can lift many more women and communities out of poverty, unleash the economic potential of many others, and reinforce Myanmar’s growth.”

Daw Nang Lang Kham, BCGE Chair
Her Excellency Dr. Daw Naw Pan Thinzar Myo, Yangon Region Minister of Kayin Ethnic Affairs, delivered the keynote speech, where she articulated that associations like BCGE are integral in national development because it helps the Myanmar Government become more aware of gender issues and gender equality. 

Daw Kyawt Kay Thi Win, Country Director of BCGE then shared BCGE’s milestones and key achievements over the past year and shared the future strategic plan for the association moving forward. 

BCGE Vice-Chair Daw Mi Mi Khaing then awarded thank you letters to all the current members of BCGE, which included: Leader members Coca Cola Pinya Beverage Myanmar, Victoria Hospital, Myanmar Imperial University, Yever Consultancy, Max Myanmar Holding Co.,Ltd; Implementer members Alpha Power Engineering Co.,Ltd and Shwe Nandaw Jewelry; and Initiator members Pinlon Hospital, CCEducare, MyanAnts, 360ed and Gandawin Magazine.

The event concluded with remarks from Daw Hla Hla Win, CEO of 360ed, who spoke about challenging gender norms in her private family life as well as in her career and business, and Mr. Victor Wong, who highlighted practices at Coca-Cola Myanmar that are helping to empower women at every level of the workforce.

Check out photos from the evening on our Facebook! 
View Photos

The Global Gender Gap Report 2020

The emerging global consensus is that despite some progress, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality, and the World Economic Forum projects that the global gender gap will not close for another 99.5 years.

Many countries in Southeast Asia have actually regressed: Myanmar fell to the 114th spot (26 places lower than its 2018 standing), while Vietnam dropped 10 places to 87th. The Philippines slipped by 8 places to rank 16th and Laos dropped from 26th to 43rd. Much of this is due to the fact that "women’s participation in the wider labour market has stalled and financial disparities are increasing" partly because of a lack infrastructure for care support. 

But it's not all bad. We've taken big strides in a number of areas globally, including: improvement in women's political representation (with an average of 25% of women in parliamentary seats), an increase in women in senior roles in the labor market, a 96% educational attainment, and 96% in health and survival. 

There is still much to be done - and great efforts are taking place right here in Myanmar as well - to address the global gender gap. Read the full report to learn more about the future of gender parity and what you can do to build a more gender-equal world! 

Read More

COVID-19 from a Gender Lens

The COVID-19 outbreak affects women and men in different ways – though men appear to have a higher mortality rate, women and girls face a variety of unique risk factors that must be considered. Pandemics can worsen inequalities for those in marginalized groups, particularly for working women.

Women are at the frontlines at work and at home. Representing 80% of nurses and 70% of the health and social sector workforce globally, women face increased risk of exposure and long working hours (WHO 2019). In addition, the outbreak has taken a significant toll on the travel and service industry, where flight attendants, service industry workers, teachers, and informal labor are dominated by female workers (source). As a result, women’s livelihoods and income security are disproportionately at risk and the psychosocial and mental health needs of female healthcare workers at the frontlines must be considered.

Women also face an increased burden on domestic responsibilities as well as a higher risk of intimate partner violence and other forms of domestic violence, particularly as more people are practicing social distancing, self-isolating, or working from home, and times of crises can lead to increased tensions (source).

Working mothers are among the hardest hit because women tend to be the primary caregivers in the home. With school and business closures, working mothers have more to do at home, particularly for children and the elderly, placing a disproportionate burden on women.

What can we do? This global health crisis presents a unique opportunity for each of us to do our part in challenging gender norms and support a better division of care work and domestic work. Gender and health advocates hope that men’s sense of value in helping with housework will increase, and that everyone will participate in care work to support each other (source).
 
Read the Full Report

Workplace Impacts: the Importance of Flexible Working Arrangements 

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies are transitioning to work from home. Flexible working arrangements are no longer merely an option, but a reality. However, many organizations are unprepared to deal with the sudden transition.
“A lot of companies will have business continuity plans or natural disaster plans, but those have been built for one off events, like a terrorist attack or a cybersecurity breach. Nobody has really built anything for something that could last for months and has increasingly unpredictable consequences.”

Aaron McEwan, Vice President, Research and Advisory at Gartner 
With many managers untrained in managing remotely, workers may feel neglected, confused, and detached. Now, more than ever, organizations are realizing the need to consider flexible working arrangements as part of management training. Ensuring that managers are conscious of differing communication styles, prepared to benchmark productivity, and able to keep staff motivated and focused will be key to fostering a high-performing team while working from home. 

Flexible working should not just be a crisis response mechanism. It’s also an integral component of workplace gender equality that benefits working parents, especially working mothers, staff with care responsibilities at home, and individuals with disabilities.

The impact of the pandemic is clear: more organizations need to embrace flexible work, not just for crises situations, but also to build better, more inclusive workplaces that prioritize productivity over facetime and consider diverse staff needs.

Contact BCGE’s team of expert technical advisors for more resources and support on implementing flexible working arrangements at your organization.
Contact Us

BCGE is seeking a Gender Consultant 

Join our diverse team to help develop services and trainings, provide expert technical advice, and support our workplace gender equality projects. The deadline to apply is May 15th.

For details and to apply, please visit: bit.ly/3aAgMyQ


Start Your Workplace Gender Equality Journey With Us! 

 
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The Business Coalition for Gender Equality · No.19A, Sein Lae Yeik Thar Street, Green Inya Condo · Room No. 401, 4th Floor · Yangon 11181 · Myanmar

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