In June 2022, COFACE and Pro Parents Netherlands organised an Expert meeting on gender equality, sustainability and workplace well-being.
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 are caretaking responsibilities organised 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.
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).