Many of women, when talking about work, also refer to their private lives; either to point out a woman model they admire who has managed to reconcile her personal life and work; or to commit to women, without children, whose lives are dedicated to achieving professional goals, removed from any dependence. Whichever the case, to the extent that women name it, they do not detach themselves from "their" responsibility concerning maternity and caring tasks. We doubt that this subject would be mentioned so often - even for rejecting it - if men had been asked, or if they had been asked about masculine entrepreneurialism.
On the other hand, we have also seen that many of the answers associated feminine leadership with transformational leadership - coined by Bernard Bass - as the kind that is characterised by achieving extraordinary effects on satisfaction and performance by employees and that is comprehensive and sensitive to the needs of their team.
To end with, we would like to emphasise that today's society, so needy of good leaders, cannot afford to limit access to decision-making posts for over half of the population (women), who have proven capability and are very well prepared.
This report responds to the objectives put forward in the 100Mirrors Extended project, which is sponsored by the Erasmus+ Programme within the Europe 2020 Strategy in Education and Training, that came into force in 2014 with the objectives of increasing competences by the members of the Education Community, among others, enhancing formal and informal learning, and improving the educational and training capabilities of teachers for employability of students. Erasmus+ aims to support European and national policies in all scopes of education and training through the added value internationalisation entails.
The current 100Mirrors Extended Project originated through another European Project carried out between 2011-2013: the 100Mirrors Project with participation by 5 European countries (Spain, United Kingdom, France, Poland and Greece within the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) that drove projects and activities to stimulate exchange, cooperation and improvement of education systems through innovative, multilateral projects.The principal objective of the former project was, given the lack of feminine benchmarks, to highlight and show models/examples of enterprising women (Mirrors) in any scope: social or business, through support by a website containing research, examples and links. This comprises a space where enterprising women present their experiences, abilities, capacities, limitations and difficulties they have to face up to, and who they have managed to achieve it in order to promote an enterprising spirit among women and boost their motivation to break through the "glass ceiling" which is now called the "concrete ceiling".
The reasons why we think that we have to keep on working on this issue are the following:
- Today the European situation relative to the job market and unemployment oblige the society and the governments to improve the entrepreneurship. And in our opinion the first step is to offer adequate education and training to foster creativity and the willingness to take risks and be independent.
- On an other hand, women in the job market keep on having many difficulties to gain and obtain the same conditions as men in general and they have to demonstrate and prove that they have the same capacities, the same skills and their difference as gender are not more than opportunities to reach the goal with all their dedication and sometimes despite the adversity. There is even data today that confirm the backward trend in gender equality in some areas, due to the economic crisis, as this report brings to light.
- According to the priority aims of the Erasmus+ Programme, the 100Mirrors Extended Projects furthers its objectives and educational resources, and includes partners from five new European countries: Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Holland, in addition to Greece and Spain, with three partners who are repeating the previous project and serve as a guide. This will enable us to identify 200 Mirror Women "mirrors to look in" in the different sectors considered in this report, and to continue increasing the community with new participants (target group) and new examples through social networks (blogs, links and Facebook) that join what is still today a Website under construction (100mirrors.eu).
- The information provided in this transnational report, affording recent data about the situation of women in the countries participating in the project and also their opinion, serves as an approach to see the participation by women in the studied sectors, and contextualises the contents of portraits/Mirrors. It also guides the rest of the materials produced so that, as a whole, they can be used as educational material.
In accordance with the above, this report sets out the following objectives:
- To identify the presence and participation by women in the different public sectors - already identified in the first 100Mirrors project - particularly contemplating the situation of women in the countries participating in this new project. The aim is to identify gender gaps.
- To provide teachers and career advisers with clarifying, up-to-date material to work on equality and empowering women in the educational sphere.
- To provide teachers and career advisers with materials to contextualise the stories of entrepreneurial women in Mirrors who disseminate their experiences through the 100mirrors.eu website.
- To identify, according to other reports, the possible causes consolidating this situation of inequality between women and men, and provide recommendations aimed at achieving balanced participation and driving social equality.
- To identify, through the words of women themselves, what capabilities, skills, difficulties, demands and advice they highlight from their own experiences - women who have managed to break through the "glass ceiling" or have forged their own project or business, with the ultimate aim of increasing awareness in youngsters about the necessary skills to start and implement a professional/business project.
This report does not intend to be thorough - other reports full of data are available for that purpose, but rather to clarifying matters and serve as a resource for the target groups it is aimed at:
• Teachers - of Degrees, Postgraduates and Masters, in subjects that are related to entrepreneurialism, whether social or business, organisation and management of businesses; who teach subjects related to Labour Sciences, such as Human Resources and Career Advice, or teachers involved in Social Sciences, which could include equality as a transversal subject or that is featured in the subject contents, analysis of social reality, teachers of Sociology, Social Work and Social Psychology. The possibility of use by teachers of other more removed disciplines should not be excluded, in a transversal manner, for them to discuss the subject of (in)equality while teaching their classes and finding interest in the use of these materials.
• Organisations/Departments in universities who are in charge of career advisers for students in their last year of study, and who task is to help/guide them to join the job market. These departments or organisations, who usually organise workshops or seminars, should provide students with a view of the current job market situation and should also consider providing gender-separated data, particularly encouraging women to start up their own business or entrepreneurial projects in areas where they are lacking presence.
• Observatories and professorships within universities that are in charge of organising talks, training courses and events such as Girl's Days to encourage girls to study technical and scientific degrees, in which they are underrepresented. The data shown here can be used and disseminated to promote gender equality. Within this group we also need to consider Women's and Gender Masters Studies, located in different Faculties.
• On the other hand, our target group outside universities could be in Continuous Professional Training dealing with entrepreneurialism, career advice, but also women's networks and associations, business and management associations, enterprising women and students who are interested in the subject in general.
This report is structured in five chapters: Introduction, methodology, with information about the strategy followed to obtain the data presented; Data Talks, where the data highlighted in different national reports is analysed, data provided by our European partners in the 100Mirrors Extended Project, and transnational data about participation by women in different professional sectors; Women talk, where the data taken from the transnational survey by enterprising women is discussed and interpreted who are planning on starting up an entrepreneurial project or have recently started one and are taking their first steps along that road. Finally, the last chapter summarises the principal Conclusions.