chairman (until 2017)
GE Hungary Kft.
We are supporting women working at GE to develop their professional skills, business models, personal relations and career prospects through the GE Women’s Network. By strengthening our presence among others in the fields of technology and sales, we educate leaders, who are ready to develop and ensure GE’s growth and success. We enhance work-life balance to help our colleagues to perform their best at work.
GE Women’s Network
Solutions of the macro-sustainability challenges
Promote women to management and leadership positions, improve diversity in decision-making bodies, increase the proportion of female mid-level and executive managers to 20% in the business sector
What´s the solution?
The aim of GE Global Women’s Network initiative is to support the career path of women, the talent development and mentoring activities within the company. MyConnections program is probably the biggest initiative of the Women’s Network that consists of women groups with the same fields of interest within GE.
Each of the employees can join this program, if she/he has some free capacity for it. The participants attend weekly/monthly discussions and actively contribute to designing and organising annual events. As the program supports women, we particularly expect applications from the female colleagues, but we are glad to see every supportive male colleague, currently they are contributing as sponsors.
The events organised by the team provide access to acquiring knowledge in many areas, which contributes to the continuous learning of employees and facilitates their progress in their career. Organising roundtable discussions with senior colleagues is one of the events where the participants can share their experiences, but also get acquainted with the company’s global governing principles and company’s expectations (see digital initiatives).
Women’s Network also takes part in the creation and introduction of flexible working schemes with the continuous recruitment and the improvement of the members in the Central and Eastern European areas. The network and GE business units have the same structure where the network achieves its goals by organising events related to the unit’s profile.
The Women’s Network supports the supply of potential female leaders. Its activities consist of e.g. mentoring senior female colleagues, creating forums to transfer knowledge and practices, organising workshops and trainings and free courses. It is important to ensure the involvement of male colleagues, international executive sponsors and external experts (like coaches) besides the female participants. Most of the programs are available for the office workers, so anyone can benefit from the events. By the mobilization of more and more people, we can improve the gender balance, and this way more diverse aspects and opinions can be brought to the surface. The reflexions of the events are discussed with the company’s decisionmakers and senior leaders utilizing the feedbacks of the events. One of the main targets of the Women’s Network is to provide female leaders the possibility to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Within and between the business units a well-structured strategy helps the members of different WN teams to be perfectly informed of each other’s program and to share their experiences. The team(s) need weekly or monthly communication between the regional leaders, the leaders of the business units and the ten so-called sub-hubs. These teams actively work together with the leaders and the HR department.
Working Parents: this is an independent group inside the WN, which supports parents in balancing their life, moreover it provides access for their children to summer camps, parent-child days at work and Working Parents Days.
The program has been successful for years, more than one hundred female colleagues have participated in it. As this program is entirely voluntary, it is sustainable only when we have committed co-workers. It is also essential to have a supportive managership, which can be maintained by frequent engagements. In every business unit, the WN leaders constantly inform the office and HR managers about the annual programs and events. The members ensure the cooperation by persistent communication.
The aim of Women’s Network is to maintain a professional progress in addition to the usual employment for each member. Organising the annual events is an opportunity to practise skills that are probably not used during the participants’ ordinary duties. This way the employees can test unusual tasks in an organised and safe way, and can even participate in the programs, which can lead to their progress. The program specifically focuses on providing more opportunity for improvement matching the company’s principles but still above the usual practices.
The program provides support differently for each business unit’s employees. In the unit of Working Capital Solutions, the „Home office” project has been implemented after many months of testing period, and contributed to the flexible employment and improvement of the employee-employer relationship. Due to this project, the employees can work from home in an organised manner, and the number of the colleagues using this opportunity has increased. This has a positive impact on the business, moreover this option is appealing for the labour market’s challenges, as young job-seekers prefer a flexible workplace that offers weekly/monthly home office possibilities.
Women’s Network measure the success of the programs in each business unit. The participants receive a satisfaction survey after every event and finished project, and the next programs will be based on the answers.
The projects that are specified for the relevant problems of one unit do not only have great impacts on a managerial level, but also for every office worker. This way each day more and more co-workers would like to be involved in the program, and the number of the participants is continuously changing and growing. As the events are available for everyone, the benefits of each training, factory visiting, professional discussion do not only include the WN members, but all the office staff.