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NPO LAB: Social Impact Lounge. 13 September 2018

13 September 2018
НКО ЛАБ: Лаборатория социальных инвестиций. 13 сентября 2018 года

Women leaders and their role in socioeconomic development


Professionalism is an employer’s primary measuring stick

“When looking for employees, we focus on professional qualities and not gender,” - Ekaterina Rybakova, Co-Founder, President, Rybakov Foundation.

“Gender is in the head and the emotional state of every single woman building a life and a career. As regards general standards, including those of the finance industry, there are no specific features, there are no gender-based features of importance, and the key for evaluation is professionalism,” Anna Vysotskaya, Head of Far Eastern Branch Orient Express Bank.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman; what’s important is that you are a professional,” - Elina Tikhonova, TV presenter, RBC.

Salary level not dependent upon gender differences

“Salaries are different because jobs are different, and the salary of a worker in a nursery school, a school teacher, and men who go down into a mine are different,” - Anna Akparova, Assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.

A woman's personal traits are her advantage 

“There are certain advantages to being a woman. As a result of some particular personality traits, she’s good at choosing the right moment to stand up for certain ideas that she wants to get across. Each idea, however, will be based on clear criteria that are unrelated to the fact that she is a woman; they will be directly related to the profession,” - Anastasia Tsvetkova, CEO, Lake Baikal Foundation

“Statistics show that if one of the founders is a woman, it’s good for companies where there is more than one founder, and if there is a woman there, then they are more successful. Statistics show that they are more successful, by up to 60%”, - Ekaterina Kumanina, Member of the Management Board, Director for Strategic Communications, RVC.


The relevance of gender stereotypes 

“Despite the fact that we have made serious progress in this country - there are many women leaders, including in political leaders and business leaders [...], the issue of stereotypes remains,” - Victoria Panova, Vice President for International Relations, FEFU.

“We cannot disregard the fact that our perception of each other is based on gender; it really is,” - Anastasia Tsvetkova said.

Perfectionism gets in the way of career growth for women

“Women are essentially perfectionists. Unless a woman is sure that she fits a particular requirement, or a job, or a project perfectly, she won’t go and get involved,” - Victoria Panova said.

Lack of ambition in women

“There are stereotypes, and most often it’s the women themselves who have them. This is due to the fact that women have a great opportunity to find fulfilment as a mother, as a wife, and often women at some stage limit themselves to this and think that this is enough, and they do not set themselves any other career-related goals. [...] Women are less ambitious than men, and this is due to the fact that they have another way to find fulfilment, although it in itself is insufficient,” - Ekaterina Rybakova said.

“There are very few women who want to dedicate the better part of their lives to business. Because it demands an enormous amount of energy. You have to be able to balance your family life, your relationships and time devoted to your children properly and not forget about your business,” - Anna Vysotskaya said.


Making gender traits work for you

“Gender traits are an advantage and not a hindrance. Since women are more emotionally sensitive, they are better able to negotiate, they possess more skills that are inherent to them by nature, that make it possible for them to achieve the desired result more quickly and effectively,” - Anna Vysotskaya said.

The development of women's solidarity

“In our community, it is particularly important that women support one another. When they need to get out of a passive state and into an active one, it is very important that they support other women,” - Ekaterina Rybakova said.

Sociocultural Inclusion


Social settings have become accessible to people with disabilities

“The situation has shifted, and the attitude towards people with disabilities has changed. [...] Disabled people can play sports, participate in performances, dance in wheelchairs. We can develop in every possible way,” - Elena Grekhova, Chairperson, Primorsky Territory Federation of Sports for People with Musculoskeletal Disorders.

“Every large-scale event makes the environment more accessible to us. [...] The environment is becoming more accessible for those who really need it to be,” - Olesya Fedortsova, Director, Champion Kamchatka Sporting Dog Breeding Club.

People with disabilities should participate in making the environment accessible

“Inclusion is not movement in one direction. It’s not only that we make our way into society, but society moves together with us. [...] Disabled people need also to be experts," - Yuri Bausov, Chairperson, Association of Youth Disability Organisations. 


Information about opportunities for disabled people is lacking

“Much is due to ignorance of the law and the situation in which a disabled person can benefit an employer. In each case, it is a matter of individual work,” - Olesya Fedortsova said.

Legislation does not take into account the particular characteristics of disabled people

 “After studying the issues surrounding labour protection legislation, I realized that the law doesn’t work for people with group one disabilities. [...] All laws relating to employment must be reviewed,” - Elena Grekhova said.

Lack of knowledge on the part of disabled people about social activities

“Information is a very important topic. Even if there are sites, they are not always known, especially as regards children. Various programmes exist, including educational ones, social ones, which should include children, but we can’t get them involved because the parents of these special children don’t know about the programmes,” - Yulia Zimova, Member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

Welfare mentality of the disabled as a result of isolation

“From the very start, unfortunately, we prepare a disabled person to be an isolated being in the literal sense of the word, and we are even the cause their dependency,” - Yuri Bausov said. 

Inaccessibility of special services for people with disabilities

“The main problem we face is the lack of a professional standard for audio description. There is no such occupation as Audio Describer accounted for within the labour legislation of this country,” - Maria Antonova, Audio Describer.


Increasing social activity 

“A lot depends on [us] the disabled, and how active we are. Now we demand more from others. But what do we do for ourselves? It is important that we ourselves meet up to the levels we are demanding,” - Yuri Bausov said. 

Creating public spaces with disabled people in mind

“Both the human factor and the work of professionals complement the constructive possibilities of buildings,” - Anna Yakovleva, Director of Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Supporting information channels for people with disabilities financially

“We are prepared to advertise on the radio, to advertise on television, but the cost makes it unrealistic. As a public organization, we simply cannot afford it,” Elena Grekhova said.