The overriding majority of the Baltic residents (93%) admit that women and men should enjoy equal rights, but at the same time gender stereotypes remain embedded in the society. According to Novatore Baltic Gender Equality Barometer 2022, regardless of the desire to live a life of equality, nearly a half of Baltic residents acknowledge that men and women still do not enjoy the same rights in real life.*
People believe that the lack of equality is the most evident in areas like wages, childcare, household chores, and career development. Lithuanians are the most sceptical about equal opportunities in their country, while Estonians are the most optimistic.
Prejudices against female leaders
Almost one in five Baltic residents (19%) believes that men are more suited to managing large corporations or organisations than women. A part of respondents believed that men are better suited to become CEOs, vice presidents, board or supervisory council members, and directors.
“Though the majority of Baltic residents is of the opinion that most professions are equally suited for both genders, some people still have unreasonable prejudices against women in management positions, for example, women are less able to cope with stress, cannot be strong leaders. Meanwhile, what concerns direct superiors, the survey did not demonstrate that one gender would be more successful in a leading role than the other. It means that there is still a lack of consistency between the kind of society we want to live in and what we actually do, namely, words are not backed by deeds,” notes Linda Ezera, the CEO of Forta Research.
More discrimination in hiring and wages
Nearly one third (37%) of Latvian, and almost a half of Lithuanian and Estonian residents (48% and 46% respectively) admit that they have experienced gender discrimination that mainly entailed lower wages or hiring practices. This problem was mostly faced by women. 28% of all female respondents had been paid less for their work, while only 6% of men had encountered the same problem. Nearly one in four (24%) Baltic women versus one in ten (9%) men looking for a job had faced discrimination.
According to the survey, people, in particular women, also face discrimination in their jobs. The respondents had been treated unequally by their management, business partners, customers and colleagues. Unequal treatment is less prevalent in schools and universities, public and municipal authorities, medical facilities, and banks and financial institutions.
Attitudes change along generations
Gender stereotypes are more common in older people, while the younger generation tends to be more gender-neutral. The respondents aged 50 years and older more often indicated that women were more emotional than men, the main duty of women was to care for home and family, and that men had to earn more than women, men were more ambitious than women, etc. The younger the respondent group, the less prejudice they had.
“Stereotypes and prejudices are very difficult to change, they are passed down from generation to generation, but the good news are that changes happen. Women become more confident and support each other. Businesses also understand that diversity is important. One goal of Novatore is to ensure that changes take place faster and that we can live in a society we want to live in: where equal rights are ensured regardless of the gender,” states Dagnija Lejiņa, the co-founder of Novatore. “On the one hand, we want to encourage women to be more confident and take on responsibility for their career development, and become managers and leaders. But we cannot shift the responsibility just to women. We also invite businesses to be more progressive, for example, according to Lursoft data, in Top 500 companies of Latvia only 20% of leaders are women, though international studies demonstrate that companies with diverse leadership are more innovative and profitable.”
Presentation of the study here: Baltic Gender Equality Barometer 2022
Novatore Impact Summit for economic empowerment of women
“Baltic women are ambitious enough and career-oriented, and want to have senior management positions, but the current perceptions prevent them from reaching their professional goals. Even in cases, when they have the required experience and training. Due to the above, we will organise the first international conference for economic empowerment of women: the Novatore Impact Summit, on 22-23 September in Riga to analyse the role of women in economics and promote female leadership,” claims Baiba Rubesa, co-founder of Novatore.
Considering the international situation, the conference will also focus on strengthening the economics and resilience during a deep crisis, including a war.
The two-day event will bring together 50 speakers from 18 countries: influential leaders, entrepreneurs, political leaders, researchers from the entire world to educate and inspire women to achieve their career ambitions and have a greater say in the economics. The second day will be devoted to master classes, where participants will acquire practical knowledge to become stronger leaders.
The agenda of the conference is available here.
* In cooperation with Novatore, the study was conducted in August 2022 by research agency Forta Research and data collector for market research Norstat that surveyed 3352 Baltic residents aged 18 to 65.
About Novatore Impact Summit
The Novatore Impact Summit is an international conference for the economic empowerment of women that will take place in Riga on 22-23 September 2022. The conference aims to promote the economic activity of women and facilitate gender diversity in business leadership positions.
The conference is organised by Novatore that was established in 2020 by entrepreneurs Baiba Rubesa and Dagnija Lejiņa to support women in leadership roles by providing knowledge and networking opportunities, and promoting experience sharing.
The key partners of the conference: Accenture, Audi, Baltcap, Indexo, Signet bank, and Tietoevry.
The conference is supported by our friends: the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga), the Baltic Institute of Corporate Governance (BICG), LYDERE (Lithuania), the executive search company Pedersen & Partners, law office Sorainen, research agency Forta Research, Norstat, Airbaltic, translation agency Nordtext, MAKIT, the European Commission, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Magnetic Latvia, Live Riga, design service agency Ozols, advertising agency VUCA, Coffee address, reputation management agency Lejiņa & Partneri, etc.
Media partners: Tvnet Group, Delfi, TV3 Group, JCDecaux, Clear Channel, Inbox.lv, publishing house Rīgas Viļņi, Santa.lv, etc.
Tickets available on novatore.eu
For the latest information on the summit, see social media: