Business26 September 2018

Romania and Gender Equality in the Business Environment

Although the Romanian business environment is still a male-dominated arena, the number of women starting-up or running a business is increasing, while gender discrimination does not seem to apply in this market segment

Women in business

Women in business

A recent study conducted in the European Union designated Romania as the country with the lowest pay gap between genders in the EU. This is as good a news as any for women entrepreneurs who wants to invest in the country, especially since the number of women holding associate or shareholding positions in a company is still quite small, only 36% nationwide, based on a study by Creditinfo Romania.

Indeed, from a cultural point of view, Romania can be considered a patriarchal society, but these traditional barriers appear to be less applicable in terms of business. For example, according to the same survey, the number of women-led businesses increased by 26% in 2016 compared to 2008. In other words, the trend in this regard is clear: the business environment in Romania is open to everyone, and as women begin to realize this and start diving more into entrepreneurship, their presence in the business environment will undoubtedly continue to rise.


However, certain stereotypes still exist, in the sense that some sectors that are traditionally predisposed to women are indeed those that contain the most women-owned firms. Therefore, in the food sector or affiliated businesses, at least 62% of companies have women either in management or as a shareholder. Also, hair styling and other beauty related segments dominated almost exclusively by women.

According to Creditinfo, 88% of these types of businesses are owned or run by a woman. This should not be seen as something negative, especially since the presence of women into other, more "manly" economic segments also depends on their own desire to venture into these arenas; and if we judge based on the figures and trends outlined above, there are many elements certifying that “yes, women can”, even more so since the Creditinfo study also points to a positive correlation between gender diversity within firms and their business figures.    


Claudiu Bolcu




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