Why a database for good practices?

Women make up almost half of the working population in Belgium. More and more organisations are aware that equality is a key factor to improve performance, and that the talent of both women and men is therefore required. But in spite of a heightened awareness concerning the importance of gender equality and legal equality between men and women, actual inequalities persist in limiting the options for women in various areas: access to the labour market, access to specific professions or sectors, education, promotion to higher positions, working terms and conditions, difficulties in combining work and family. Stereotypical thinking, the glass ceiling, the expected role of women in private life and the pay gap are practical obstacles to gender equality.

By means of this database, the Institute for the equality of women and men wants to properly support organisations in gender-sensitive functioning, with a view to reducing social inequalities between women and men, and between women (and men) amongst themselves.

The database of the Institute was created in 2006 and updated in 2014, and is a source of information to understand good practices in organisations (private, public and social profit) that have formulated and implemented an effective equal opportunity policy. A lot of new good practices that promote gender equality in organisations were identified and examined for their actual added value.

This has resulted in a database consisting of more than 60 good practices from various types of organisations from various sectors in Belgium. Some good practices have already been implemented for a few years, and have proved their effectiveness, while other campaigns have started only recently. Intentions to start taking actions were not taken into account.

The aim of the database is to propose and promote the most diverse possible – though not exhaustive – range of initiatives, solutions and programs relating to equal opportunity policies. In this manner, the knowledge and insights gained from the selected measures, initiatives and processes will constitute a source of inspiration for other organisations, and one can therefore benefit from the experiences of others. The selected measures in this database represent a win-win situation for employers as well as employees: a heightened work satisfaction and welfare through gender balance lead to better results for organisations.