Cyprus still has a long way to go in reducing the gender gap, said House Speaker Annita Demetriou.
Addressing the 6th Annual Business and Professional Women Mediterranean Symposium, Demetriou said women have the potential to be the driving force behind the game-changing economy we envision.
She said women’s empowerment leads to economic growth, productivity, and diversification.
“It is also estimated that gender gaps cost the economy 15% of GDP.
“What is crucial today is not only how we, as women, respond to a changing global economy, but how we shape it too”.
Globally, only 5.4% of CEOs are women.
According to Eurostat, only 24.8% of employed women in Cyprus hold managerial positions, one of the lowest rates in the EU.
Moreover, Cyprus ranks 21st in the EU on the gender equality index.
“Cyprus has a long way to go to reduce the gender gap and increase women’s participation in decision-making structure and leadership.
“We must also step up our efforts to eliminate the gender pay and pension gaps, and Cypriot women bear disproportionate responsibilities for unpaid care and domestic work.”
She said reconciling working mothers’ professional and family lives remains a major challenge we must urgently overcome.
“As the first female President of the House of Representatives, I am a strong defender of gender equality and equal representation in decision-making structures and leadership.
“I aspire to portray a positive female role model to encourage and motivate more women in leadership and decision-making structures, to lead by example and inspire the next generation of female leaders to dream bigger, aim higher and shatter the glass ceiling that persists.”
The President of BPW Cyprus, Tasia Yiannara Yiallourides, said confronting the challenges ahead has become increasingly important.
“It is time to understand that addressing the invisible load of womanhood and motherhood is important to allow women to take centre stage”, she noted.