Equal Pay Day conference in Prague encourages women to be 'seen and heard'

The event features a number of distinguished speakers and mentors speaking about gender equality.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 27.03.2023 14:00:00 (updated on 27.03.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

Though strides have been made in gender equality in Czechia, many experts believe that with a pay gap of 16 percent, the country still has a long way to go.

An upcoming Prague event aims to strengthen the economic security of women in Czechia, and the world, by provoking a professional discussion among companies and the public about the causes of wage inequality. 

Equal Pay Day will take place between March 31 and April 2 in Prague at the Clarion Congress Hotel. By sharing best practices and presenting female role models, the event's talks and workshops are geared toward supporting the equal status of women at work and in society.

Yaa Peprah Amekudzi, head of the Cocoa Life Program at Mondelez International in Ghana, is one of the thirty-plus speakers who will weigh in on what keeps women from making steadier progress toward owning their whole identity, space, and potential in our world.

"I keep hearing: we need to give women a voice. But for me, that’s like people not being able to recognize that you already have a voice," said Amekudzi.

The concept of being seen and heard as a woman in the workplace is the theme of the 14th annual Equal Pay Day conference, which will encourage women to write their own stories before others do it for them.

Amekudzi adds, "Because somebody is thinking that they have to give you a voice if you are not careful, it will be that person who gives you a voice who will tell the world your story simply because they don’t recognize that you already have a voice and that maybe they don’t have a listening ear."

Equal Pay Day (EPD) is a symbolic day dedicated to the difference between male and female salaries. It is a global educational campaign organized by Bussiness & Professional Women International all around the world. EPD highlights the ongoing gender inequality of financial reward known as the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) on the day when women in the relevant country reach the salary their male colleagues made by the end of the previous year.

Cristina Muntean founder and CEO of Vornica, a company on a mission to triple the number of women CEOs in Europe by 2030, is also scheduled to speak at the event. She said when she worked as a business journalist, she was astonished about how few women she got to interview.

"Women, even top leaders, were always too busy or too shy to give interviews, but I’ve never met a man who would shy away from my microphone," she said.

She believes women still have a lot of work to do toward developing self-confidence and trust in the value of their thought leadership and what we have to say.

The conference will focus on mentoring as one way to help women strengthen their voices. Mentoring opportunities and online mentoring are in the program. Speakers come from top international companies with a presence in Czechia including Lego, AB InBev, and Raiffeisenbank. OECD Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen will speak via video conferencing.

Speaker topics include how to increase your price on the labor market, company culture, and the hesitation to "lean in." Talks will be given in both Czech and English.

What’s the key to writing your own story as a woman?

Amekudzi encourages women to be firm and to be more intentional about reflecting on their own paths and their journey.

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"That’s the step we should take: stop, pause, then ask ourselves: Who am I? Where am I going? What am I trying to do? What am I, not just who am I? Be intentional about asking yourself these questions, and then also be intentional about finding a solution because at the end of the day, if you don’t do you, no one else will do it."

She offers a key piece of advice: "It’s important that you own your voice and use that voice to talk about yourself, about what you need, what you want, where you are coming from, where you want to go, how you want to get there, and whom you want to carry along. If you don’t do that, somewhere along the line you will get messed up and you will also mess up everyone around you."

Muntean adds that courage, intentionality, dedicated focus, and discipline are the key elements to women owning their voices and making themselves more strategically visible.

"The more our world of work is shifting online, the more we need to also follow and switch our patterns to communicating and relating differently. In the remote world of work, we women, have a fabulous advantage: we already understand the value of building relationships and we are more emotionally attuned to others and to larger groups. If we use this to our own advantage, we will shatter inequality not in 300, but in 30 years," she said.

The regional conference Equal Pay Day is organized by Business Professional Women Czech Republic, a branch of the global organization BPW International. The takes place in Prague between March 31 and April 1, and online on Sunday, April 2. Join Equal Pay Day in spring by registering here.

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