On the occasion of Women’s Day, Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli and Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna attended an event organised by 100 Women in Finance at the Malta Stock Exchange which hosted the Countess of Wessex and the President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS AND EQUALITY
THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli held that during these last five years, the Government has taken various measures to support persons with caring responsibilities—particularly women—not only to enter the labour market, but to also remain in employment and be better able to advance in their career. “Enhancing equal opportunities for women and men so that they may achieve their full potential is one of the priorities of the Maltese Government”, said Minister Dalli.
However, Minister Dalli also noted that women are still under-represented in managerial positions and on boards. In spite of the fact that employment rate of women having increased by 5.9% in the last three years, and that 57% of graduates are women, there remains a wide gap between the number of men and women in decision-making positions. With 4.5% of the board members of large listed companies registered in Malta, women in Malta are the least in the EU to hold such positions. Even in the political sphere, following the 2017 general election, only 14.9% of members of Parliament are women.
Minister Dalli referred to pledges in the government programme, which seek to strengthen equal opportunities in employment and challenge the under-representation of women in top levels of companies/entities by incentivising employers. These include tax deductions; putting in place adequate systems of teleworking and flexible hours; extending the free childcare service; enhancing the MicroInvest programme, particularly for companies where the majority of shareholders are women. Further consultations with social partners on the possibility of parents making use of their sick leave when their children are sick is another area which is being tackled. Minister Dalli said that the government is striving to achieve gender-balanced representation in decision-making positions by promoting a 40% representation of each sex on government-appointed boards and by changing Parliament working hours to make them more family-friendly.
“These initiatives are indicative of a society that fosters equality and that is committed to challenge gender stereotypes and discrimination, which inhibit the participation of women in decision-making positions”, stated Minister Dalli.
Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna said that the Malta Stock Exchange, “is a place which holds so much promise for the next phase of our economic development, where every business-minded person or institution, irrespective of clout or importance, feels it belongs.”
Minister Scicluna stated that the launching of the alternative platform Prospects has brought the small businesses closer to seeing their dream of independently tapping the capital markets independently become a reality.
Regarding the literacy programme carried out at the exchange for people from all walks of life, the Minister said that it is helping to assist in the ease to do business.
“Malta, with its impressive economic growth rate, its successful and quite significant increase in its female labour force participation rate, and careful handling of its public finances, is showing the world that a country with a strong determination can become an enviable European performer”, concluded Minister Scicluna.
Thursday 8th March 2018