Unlocking the Female Potential

Unlocking the Female Potential

This initiative was designed to improve access to employment and enhance the participation and progress of women in the labour market, by investigating the reasons behind the low female employment rate in Malta and Gozo, while at the same time promoting a culture of equality within the business sector, in order to address labour market distortions.   
The objectives of Unlocking the Female Potential were to:
 increase the overall female employment rate by providing indirect incentives for work;
 create a need for businesses to become certified equal opportunities employers;
 have a family-friendly environment at the workplace;
 incentivise the inactive to the labour market through better work arrangements available;
 further promote the need for a work-life balance both for men and women;
 analyse the jobs/skills match for the inactive population, in order to enhance employability; and
 provide policy makers with vital information through research.
As part of this initiative, in-depth research was carried out on various facets related to the female participation in the labour market, namely:
 The Situation of Male and Female Entrepreneurs and Vulnerable Workers in Malta - a comparative study to focus on male and female entrepreneurs, exploring their main reasons for taking up entrepreneurship; also looking at their overall expectations and challenges.  Another study was carried out to analyse the reality of self-employed/contract workers in the tourist industry/cleaning/language schools and what makes their situation vulnerable.
 The Relevance of Economic Independence to Maltese Women  - an analysis of what produces the ‘glass ceiling’ in employment; a study on whether economic independence is relevant to Maltese women; and a study on the effects of social security benefits on the decision to take up employment.
 Analysing Inactivity from a Gender Perspective  -  a study identifying, understanding and validating the reasons underlying the inactivity of women in Malta. As a follow up research, an inactive population skills study was also carried out.
 Research on Gozitan women in employment – this study explored and understood the factors affecting Gozitan women, in order to identify their perceptions and needs in the area of paid employment.
 Life Prospects of Teenage Parents  -  a study examining the life prospects of teenage parents, with regards to educational and job prospects, pattern of roles and the use of support structures.

The Equality Mark:

The ‘Equality Mark’ is a certification awarded to companies/organisations that make gender equality one of their values and whose management recognises and promotes the potential of all employees irrespective of their gender and caring responsibilities.
 For more information on the Equality Mark please click here.
Awareness Raising:
To raise further awareness on the Equality Mark, various means of communication were utilised including billboards, bus shelter adverts, online awareness campaign and TV and radio PSAs to mention a few.  The publicity campaign targeted the general public with a particular focus on business and employers’ organisations, as well as the inactive population. 
Articles on the Equality Mark in the media:
 Unlocking Female Potential and Pockets  -  Pink Magazine, Mar. 2012. 
 A Mark of Equality  -  The Executive, Nov. 2011.
 The Equality Mark...One year on  -  The Commercial Courier, Oct-Nov 2011.
 Getting the right person for the job  -  Business Agenda, Sep-Nov 2011
 Are you truly deserving of an Equality Certification?  -  The Executive, Issue 31, 2011
 Family-friendly measures: a win-win situation? - Elaine Dutton - The Economic Update, February 2011 Issue.

 Implementing a Sexual Harassment Policy at the Place of Work - The Commercial Courier, April-May 2011.

Other Activities:
Following the development of the Equality Mark concept and campaign, an analysis was commissioned to assess the impact of the Equality Mark.  The aim of this analysis was to create a tool supporting equal opportunities far beyond the project’s lifetime, by strengthening the projects’ longevity, as well as utilizing the full potential of the Equality Mark as a positive tool for change.
Final Conference: 
 Press Release in English
 Press Release in Maltese

 Final Report


               Project Ref.      ESF 3.47
               Project Name  Unlocking the Female Potential
               Fund                   European Social Fund (ESF)
               Start Date         December 2008
               End Date           December 2012
               Partners            Employment Training Corporation (ETC)  
                                          Malta Employers Association (MEA)
                Union Haddiema Maghqudin (UHM)
                Foundation for Human Resources Development (FHRD)
                General Workers Union (GWU)


 Contact Name 
National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE)
Gattard House,
National Road,
Blata l-Bajda HMR 9010
(+356) 2295 7​850