Business success and working environment have lasting benefits from the promotion of equal opportunities


Business success and working environment have lasting benefits from the promotion of equal opportunities

  • During the EU project SWOPS, 16 SMEs in four European countries were accompanied over the period of two years. This resulted in an open consultation model for Human Resources (HR consulting model), a comparative country analysis and a Good-Pratices catalogue.


  • SWOPS recommends sustainable change in mentality at senior level for SMEs to be able to respond to demographic change implications with the help of gender equity.


Berlin, 12 July, 2016. Over two years, the EU project SWOPS accompanied CEOs and leaders of 16 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in France, Sweden, Austria and Germany, to examine and optimize opportunities in decision-making positions. The aim of the high-scale quality analysis was based on the results and experiences within the EU project to develop concrete recommendations for companies and recruiters. Given skill shortages and demographic change, gender equality is not only a question of justice or a fashion keyword, but of great economic importance for SMEs.


Main conclusion of SWOPS: A sustainable change in mentality at senior level is essential to mitigate the consequences of demographic change and especially to also benefit from it. A greater gender justice positively affects the medium term on the company’s success and the working atmosphere, and often provides the decisive competitive advantage.



Further selected SWOPS project results


  • Theming of equal opportunities as an economic factor and awareness raising for often unconsciously existing role models fare barely found in SMEs.


  •  Workplace health management is an important – in SMEs often neglected – instrument of employee retention, as working women in their double burden of work and family most often have no time for their own health care.


  • The influence of (unconscious) role stereotypes in career choices and career development is still enormous throughout society.


  • Women and girls are often still unconsciously devalued by being measured according to male evaluation criteria – here the inclusion of female leadership qualities in the ratings is necessary.


  • A sound, professional consultation from outside can already do a lot in order to successfully mitigate the consequences of demographic change in their own company.



In addition to the evaluation and counseling of executives and personnel managers, a good practices catalog was created with recommendations for the implementation of the structure-oriented personnel strategy during the SWOPS project; further an open consultation model for companies and consultants alike and a comparative country analysis.


The Good Practices can be retrieved for free in PDF format from


The open HR consulting model and comparative country analysis will be published for free in due course to and online.


For more information about the company and partners involved in SWOPS see


About swops
The central concern of BPW Club Berlin e.V. as initiator of the EU project SWOPS is to achieve with the introduction of a structural change oriented personnel strategy and more equal opportunities in decision-making positions. –


About the BPW Club Berlin e.V.
The Business and Professional Women (BPW) is one of the most influential international networks of professional women. In Germany, the BPW Germany is committed to equal opportunities for women and men in all areas. Among the 44 BPW clubs in Germany, the Berlin Club is one of the largest. –


Press contact:

swops_logoBPW Club Berlin e.V.
Johanna Havemann
T: +49-30-24 617 688


[Download PDF]