Gender gap, women at the top of Italian SMEs are increasing (but half don’t have children) – Corriere.it
The gender gap in the workplace? It still exists, and in many cases in a clear form, but also in Italy things are beginning to move in the field of equality between men and women, particularly in the taking and sharing of corporate responsibility. This emerges from a survey of 741 Italian SMEs by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (I-Aer), which shows that there has been an acceleration in the attribution of entrepreneurial leadership to women in the post-Covid period. It is confirmed that the tertiary sector is increasingly ‘pink’ with almost 25% female executives, compared to 15% in the industry. In particular, the private tertiary sector has a significant presence of female managers in health and social care (50%), education (42%), rental, travel agency, business support services (29%) and other service activities (27%). ). However, when analyzing the Italian regions, Sicily ranks first with the highest proportion of women in managerial positions (27%), followed by Lazio (26%), Calabria (25%), Molise (23%) and Lombardy (22%). ). At the provincial level, Milan is the province with the highest number of female managers, followed by Rome and Turin.
Post Covid change
This opening of top management to women took place especially in the post-Covid period, which made family businesses realize how necessary this step was to survive in today’s and tomorrow’s economy – says Fabio Papa, founder of I-Aer –. Another important aspect is that this opening has mainly taken place in companies with a strong inclination to international markets and a management that pays attention to continuous training. The scenario is therefore more encouraging than it was a few years ago, but there is certainly no lack of shadows. Sometimes the price for women to take leadership positions in companies, even in family businesses, is high. In fact, the salary in the two years after maternity leave is 10 to 35 percent lower than if there had been no children. Most importantly, 57% of women in positions of power have no children, compared to 25% of men. The positive news is that the entrepreneurial family is trying to give young women the opportunity to assert themselves, but the negative news is that the psychological burden of responsibility delays marriage, motherhood and the compatibility of work and private life, comments Papa.
Maternity (and Paternity)
Therefore, the birth of a child still has the main impact on the mother rather than the father and appears as a discriminatory element in a woman’s career. There are solutions for this, and one of them could be the managementization of companies, which opens up to external people joining the company management. This change could allow women entrepreneurs to delegate more powers, but this is often difficult – explains Pope. 98% of Italian companies are SMEs, so 83% are family-run The first who do not want to manage are the top managers, especially for fear of losing control of the company. Others cannot do this for financial reasons. The state can and must also do its part and create framework conditions for a mother’s life that enable her to experience motherhood in a relaxed manner: for example, through more availability of structures such as kindergartens and kindergartens and with more tightly controlled prices , says the Founder of I-Aer. Although there are still many steps to be taken, in particular to reconcile work-life balance for women in managerial positions, the shift towards gender equality seems to have started in Italy as well. There will be further improvements over the next decade: The seeds for this pink revolution are in place, the main message is that we are increasingly paying attention to skills, regardless of gender, concludes Pope.