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14 May, 2021, Tirana - Ending discrimination against women is not only a fulfilling basic human right, but also fundamental for a sustainable future. Gender equality should be at the foundation to ensure economic growth and for societies to flourish, embedding it at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. A critical condition for gender equality is enabling women to have choices over their families, their work and their futures.

Evidence suggests that the introduction of workplace family policies - ranging from flexible working time, to extended parental leave - has improved employee retention, attraction of top talent, workplace innovation and even performance outputs. In short, it is a win-win situation. The provision of work flexibility is at the heart of these initiatives, enabling parents to have greater control over their work lives and in turn, their personal lives. At the core of all these changes is a need for more equitable gender norms. This includes recognizing the critical contributions women can make in society, as well as the role that men should play in unpaid care work.

An analysis of “Champion Companies on Family Friendly Workplaces in Albania” presented by UNFPA Albania and DM Consulting Services has identified nine companies that are best placed in the Albanian market in creating Family Friendly Workplaces. During a two-year project, UNFPA aims to make these Champion Companies (CCs) their main partners by becoming role models and showcasing their interventions, as well as bring concrete changes for more family-friendly workplaces and hopefully for other companies to join this path.

Through this work the objective is to establish networks, increase knowledge and understanding and build solid practices for family-friendly workplaces that will benefit both the employers and the employees, as well as the business in general.


The Kickoff Meeting organized today by UNFPAintroduced the nine CCs with the basic elements of the project, the work path during the two years, the planned activities to be undertaken, and the commitment required by the CCs. 
During this meeting the CCs had the opportunity to share their experiences, provide feedback and inputs to the objectives and planned activities, and contributed to a common understanding among all partners of what the project entails. 
They also briefly discussed on the policies they are applying to create family-friendly workplaces.

Other strategic partners and supporters, such as Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, DM Consulting, present in the meeting, provided recommendations to ensure a successful implementation of the interventions.

These interventions are part of the activities and objectives of the regional project “Expanding Choices: Gender-Responsive Family Policies for the Private Sector in the Western Balkans and Moldova” implemented by UNFPA and financially supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).