Identify the more common approaches emerging from the analysis

AuthorSansonetti, Silvia; Davern, Eamonn
Study Report on PES approaches to the promotion of gender equality
The PES responses reflect positive developments in considering gender equality in that
40% of respondents ranks the overall obj ective as very important’, 32% as ‘important’
and another 12% consider it ‘moderately important’. This perspective is supported by some
strategic considerations reported by 60% of respondents: for 40% by a specific PES gender
equality strategy PES an d for 20% by the inclu sion of a gender equality objecti ve in the
existing mainstream PES employment strategy. Awareness about gender equality
translates in activities for both PES employees and PES end-users.
On one hand, PES undertake various initiatives for their employees in the area of work-life
balance, adopt gender-sensitive criteria in personnel recruitment, and hire specific support
staff to work on internal gender equality issues. Actions to promote gender equality within
the organisation are pivotal to raise awareness among personnel and therefor e promote
an adequate implementation of gender equality policies for end -users.
On the other hand, PES implement gender-sensitive activities for end users. They include
the collection of regul ar gender-disaggregated data (76% of respondents) and the
implementation of policies to prom ote women’s employability, including in non-traditional
sectors, fostering work life balance, and supporting women in vulnerable situations.
However, specific procedures t o assist women accessing PES are less common, only 16%
of PE S imp lement these. Similarly , g ender aw areness courses for cli ents/customers are
seldom provided. It is important to note that several respondents conflated gender
neutrality (meaning non-discrimination which is obviously a legally mandated guarantee)
in processes and procedures, with gender equality policies. To properly i mplement gender
equality in policy making the Eur opean Commission advocates gender sensitiveness: this
implies analysing the issue from a gender perspective and then taking appropriate
measures to counteract existing gender inequalities and address potential gender biases
which may ensue from the newly implemented policy.
Among the good/promising practices mentioned by PES, several are EU funded. This result
confirms the important role played by European institutions in promoting gender-sensitive
labour market policies. In particular, the ESF has been playing a prominent role in
supporting gender equality since 2000-2007 programming period. So, for instance the ESF
Regulation for the programming period 2014 -2020 addresses some of the most burning
gender equality issues and strategies to overcome gender gaps47. The good/promi sing
practices recently implemented or still under implementation by PES in the area of gender
equality have benefitted in particular from the initiative supporting work-life balance
through the ESF thematic objective ‘p romoting sustainable and quality employment a nd
supporting labour mobility’. This includes a section on Eq uality between men and women
in all areas, including in access to employment, career progression, reconciliation of work
and private life, and promotion of equal pay for equal work.
47 Casavola P., Rosselli A. and Sansonetti S. (2011), Evaluation of the European Social Fund support to Gender
Equality, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, available at:
See also the European Standard on Gender Mainstreaming available on the website of the Community of
Practice on gender equality for ESF. Available at:

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