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European Expert Meeting on Gender Equality, Sustainability & Workplace Wellbeing co-hosted by Pro Parents Netherlands & COFACE Families Europe

Good practices, better workplaces

Family friendly workplaces as cornerstone for an economy which cares

Video summary of the expert meeting and objectives

Meeting report with key findings

A chance to build back better
Working families around the globe were dramatically impacted by the changes COVID-19 brought. Increasing anxieties around job security, mounting home schooling demands, and radical birth and postpartum plan shifts have taken the small safety net around families away. We are still in the phase of covid recovery, gearing up for the next normal in work and life. There is an opportunity to build back better and coordinate a societal shift both at home and in the workplace. We need to redefine the future of work and how we envision care and work. How caretaking responsibilities are organized to ensure that people with care responsibilities (mostly women and or mothers, but also family members who take care of elderly relatives or relatives with disabilities) are properly represented in the workplace.

Creating the building blocks
With the Sustainable Development Goals 1 (no poverty), 3 (health and well-being), 5 (gender equality) and 8 (decent work and economic growth) in mind, the objective of this European expert meeting was to create the building blocks for a caring economy by:

  • connecting families, policy-makers and employers in order to collect best practices for family-friendly workplaces and create European guidelines to help employers create a culture shift;
  • upscaling good practices from The Netherlands to other countries, and encourage further cross-country exchanges;
  • preparing the future of work to deal with labour market challenges due to gender inequality and the lack of appropriate work life balance measures, such as female under-representation, absenteeism, loss of talent and talent shortages, mental health issues and more;
  • studying solutions to improve gender equality in the labour market;
  • boosting the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, namely principles 2 (gender equality), 3 (equal opportunities) and 9 (work-life balance).

Full programme available here.

About the co-hosts

COFACE Families Europe promotes the well-being, health, social inclusion and security of families and family members in our ever-changing society. We serve as a trusted entity to voice the issues and needs of families in Europe. We advocate non-discrimination policies and equal opportunities for individuals as well as for families in all shapes and sizes. Our support specifically goes out to policies and initiatives aimed at increasing equality between women and men, focused on a union of work, care and family life.

Pro Parents Netherlands is on a mission to reinvent the way companies support their employees on the path to parenthood. With science based parental health policies and practices for employers who wish to commit to gender inclusion. In addition, Pro Parents is building an Employer benefit platform for parents @work, to help navigate the joy and journey for parents at work.


Gender Inclusion, Interrelated health of children and their parents in the first 1000 days by Prof. Dr. Tessa Roseboom, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dismantling discriminatory social norms in the workplace by Marie Toulemonde, Gender specialist, United Nations Population Fund, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Adelina Tërshani, Program Officer for Women’s Economic Empowerment, Kosovo Women’s Network, Kosovo

Key steps to build inclusive employership by Helen Gleis, Project Manager Diversity & Inclusion, BDO Netherlands

Why We Need Workplace Wellbeing Strategies: Evidence from the Netherlands by Mara Yerkes, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science,Utrecht University

Supporting employers to build parent equality organisational culture by Sylwia Ziemacka, Council member, Share the Care Foundation, Poland

Equality, Father- and Family-Friendliness by Marina Wetzer-Karlsson, Programme Director, Väestöliitto, Family Federation of Finland

A label for carer-friendly workplaces by Lucie Boulier, Cap’Handéo Policy officer, Handéo Services, France

Supporting working parents with young children by Pro Parents (Authors: J. Knappe, N. van Kesteren, W. Hooftman)

Other Future Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.