Women in the workforce and the gap between men, what should be done?

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Our country’s employment disparity between men and women is primarily due to attitude, particularly in rural and isolated places. According to employment specialists Erald Pashai and Jetona Myteveli in “A2 Business”, while the Minister of Entrepreneurship Defense, Edona Bilali, believes that the government has taken some initiatives that benefit women.

“We have an employment gap between men and women, with men being more employed than women. We have significant female unemployment rates, and it is unfortunate that countries in the region have the same issues, the main issue being mentality. We don’t have this problem in Tirana or Durres, and the treatment in Tirana’s western suburbs is acceptable, but we have significant problems in second-tier cities and isolated places. The most dominant factor is mentality, which is suffocating in rural places.”

Pashai believes that more women in managerial roles should serve as an inspiration and an example to others.

“We should always have more women in positions of leadership everywhere. We have women in government, but no women with significant roles, who should be role models for other women. Being good managers inspires all layers of society. We need more female CEOs on corporate boards. The rest of Albania requires more female role models. We would inspire women and girls if we had female leaders, and this would have a beneficial influence within a decade.”

Jetona Myteveli emphasizes that over the past 7 years, women’s participation in entrepreneurship has increased, but knowledge and access to finance remain a problem.

“Women affected by earthquakes and the pandemic have started businesses with craftsmanship and have started online sales. Kamza is a model and represents a mini Albania, and craftsmanship there brings the fair of all Albania. This year, the government provided a subsidy to encourage new business ventures. 300 persons were trained, with women accounting for 60% of the total. We struggled to get 20% of women when we launched the project in 2016. Last year, the government launched a new initiative, and the finance structure is supported by programs under development. Access to finance and expertise continues to be an issue. Albanian women are terrified of failing.”

Arlinda Muja, the head of the Microfinance Association, notes that women dominate the private sector and banking sector, but the focus should be on quality, not their percentage, for a business’s success.

“The percentage of women in various industries fluctuates. Women dominate the private and banking sectors, which is attributable to education as well as the selection and strategy of banks and financial institutions. We finance 40% of female-owned enterprises, with plans to raise this figure. A profitable business must be of great quality.”