UNDP supports women entrepreneurs and improves the collection of sex-disaggregated data

April 7, 2021

The study “Women and Men in Leadership Positions in Ukraine: 2017-2020” laid a solid foundation for further discussions and finding most effective common solutions for women’s  economic empowerment.

Photo: UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 7 April 2021 –  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine and the International Labor Organization (ILO) held an online round table on 6 April entitled “Women’s Economic Empowerment as a Pathway to Gender Equality and Resilience to Crisis.” During the event,  a presentation of the study  “Women and Men in Leadership Positions in Ukraine: 2017-2020” was held, which was conducted by experts of Ukrainian Center for Social Data at the initiative of  League of Business and Professional Women of Ukraine. 

Dafina Gercheva, UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, opened the event and noted that gender equality is not only the right thing, but also the smart thing to do. "Arithmetic says that if all members of society have the same opportunities to build a society, the outcome of their efforts will be much better than if some groups, such as women, did not have the equal opportunities," Ms. Gercheva added.

The study, which was the subject of a round table, was conducted twice (in 2017 and 2020) on the basis of open data from the Unified State Register. In 2020, compared to 2017, the number of active private entrepreneurs and legal entities in the register increased by 600 thousand. Over the past three years, the total share of women in management positions in Ukraine has increased by almost 0.5 percentage points –  up to 40.5 %. This is much higher than the world average of 29% and the EU average, where the share of companies with women executives is 35%. At the same time, managers and private entrepreneurs in most sectors of the economy are still predominantly men.

Prisca Depnering, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine, stressed the importance of further efforts to achieve gender parity, "Support for women entrepreneurs and women’s business associations is extremely important due to the fact that  70% of business leaders are still men."

Serhiy Savchuk, ILO National Coordinator in Ukraine, stressed that "Ukraine will need 209 years to achieve full gender equality if we move at the current pace."

"Women are represented in areas where incomes are lower. When we talk about management positions, women hold lower positions," said Ella Libanova, Director of the M. V. Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. 

Women predominate in economic activities “Public administration and defense,” “Human Health and Social Work Activities,” but mostly in – “Education” and “Activities of Households as Employers.” In 2020, the highest share of women managers and entrepreneurs was in Luhansk and Donetsk oblast – nearly 45 % . The city of Kyiv and Kyiv oblast ranked low with the results of 34% and 39%.

Olha Onishchuk, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine for State Registration, confirmed the readiness of the Ministry of Justice to introduce the column “gender” in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs and Public Associations.

Ihor Verner, Head of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, presented the latest developments in the collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated data, available, in particular, in a special mobile application developed by the State Statistics Service.

More details of the discussion can be found in the recordings of the round table in Ukrainian and English, as well as by reviewing the full text of the study. The study “Women and Men in Leadership Positions in Ukraine” was conducted within the framework of the Swiss-Ukrainian Project “Strengthening Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Business Membership Organizations in Ukraine (Phase II)” implemented by UNDP in Ukraine in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine and with the support of Switzerland.