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Female participation in the workforce

From left: Janet Chetcuti, PKF senior statistician, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo and Marilyn Mifsud, PKF advocate.

From left: Janet Chetcuti, PKF senior statistician, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo and Marilyn Mifsud, PKF advocate.

PKF’s ongoing research on female participation in the workforce is inspired by recent findings by the National Statistics Office, which show that in Malta the highest female activity rate was recorded in 2014, at 52.1 per cent. This rate has increased substantially over the years, but it’s still not close enough to the desired target.

Continuing to increase the female participation in the labour market is an objective which not only Malta but also many EU member states seek to attain. The reason for this is that a high female participation rate would certainly improve the economic activity of a country and is therefore an essential objective.

The main aim of PKF’s study on this matter is to evaluate the different perceptions of Maltese women on female employment. For the purpose of this research, four groups of females are being studied. These groups consist of female business owners, females in employment, females seeking employment and idle or inactive females. Several females forming part of these groups will be assessed through different surveys that converge to a common denominator. Common questions will focus on reasons for unemployment and impediments that discourage females from gainful employment. The awareness of several government incentives for employment will also be tackled.

Another core aim of this study on female participation is to discover any significant factors that may be of influence on the presence of females in the workforce. Statistical methodologies will be used in order to analyse past female activity rates in conjunction with other factors such as education.

In order to enhance this study, PKF is meeting with several local entities that have proven their commitment to increase the female labour force by initiating several employment schemes, particularly targeted to women. These include the ETC, GRTU and Education Minister Evarist Bartolo. These have shared their views and feedback on the subject and have also offered their support in the study. They also offered to disseminate the surveys online to their respective members, and dedicated some of their time to inform PKF about the several appealing measures that are aimed for enhancing female participation. Some of these include the Youth Guarantee Scheme and the reduction of income tax for women over 40 years of age who have started employment after being inactive for more than five years. Apart from acknowledging that this study is beneficial, the Education Minister has offered to give PKF any data pertaining to this subject for the purpose of this study.

With the help of these and other local entities, this study is being carried out by the statistics department at PKF Malta. This department was launched in early 2014 and has since grown with the addition of junior economists. With this study and others, which particularly relate to aviation and gaming, this department seeks to continue to promote PKF Malta.

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