Mending the Pay and Employment Gap through Eco-entrepreneurship
Mend the Gap addresses the social and labour market inclusion of women who face difficulties in being financially independent and in integrating the labour market, because of the particular conditions in which they live (disability, migration, living in remote areas, gender discrimination in their community, ect.). Thanks to a set of innovative and digital resources this project will provide, our aim is to support vocational trainers to provide courses to economically empower these women by helping them to start their own eco-entreprises. The training path particularly focuses on financial education and funding, essential to launch a sustainable business. By acquiring new skills and tools, these educators will support female learners in their centres and networks to increase their financial independence, which will empower these women economically and will contribute to closing the gender gap in terms of economic freedom and earning power across the European labour market. Addressing this gender pay gap is one of the Sustainable Development Goals which is a central focus of this project.
As such, the project stems from the need to reduce the gender pay and employment gap at work that exists, to varying degrees, in Europe, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will achieve this through the development of innovative and sustainable learning tools. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the impact of the pandemic has deepened long-standing gender gaps in the economy: with women more likely to drop out of the labour force. Women in EU countries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic because they make up the vast majority of workers in health and other front-line jobs. The pandemic has also brought a rise in domestic violence against women, the EU’s annual report on gender equality said. According to latest studies by the European Commission, the gender pay gap in the EU stands at 14.1% and has only changed minimally over the last decade. It means that women earn 14.1% on average less per hour than men. Mend the Gap partners will work together over the duration of this project to try to ‘mend’ this gap in pay scales between men and women.
To address the gender pay gap, and to tackle some of the barriers to financial independence which impact women in Europe today, Mend the Gap will develop the following learning materials for women and vocational educators:
A Women’s needs Assessment Toolkit which will allow educators to assess the skills that women have already acquired and that would be useful in starting their eco-business (entrepreneurial and basic soft skills, management skills, technical and deep skills acquired working in specific sectors). This tool willspecifically be conceived for educators to better understand the interests of female learners in this regard, and will allow them to adapt their course according to the needs and preferences of women.
A Train the Trainers Programme for vocational educators, which includes a programme for blended-learning courses designed for educators to teach green entrepreneurship practices and financial education to women with minor opportunities wishing to start their own business. The Programme will include videos, interactive resources, PowerPoints and other teaching material for vocational educators.
An online platform to provide easy, free and immediate access to the training courses, and which will also enable courses for vocational educators to be completed in a blended learning format.
A sound and extensive promotional campaign for the project to advertise the results of the project, multiply the impact among vocational educators and women, and raise awareness about the importance of women empowerment through financial education and eco-entrepreneurship.
Mend the Gap has been funded with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme. The project commenced in December 2022 and runs until November 2024.
The Mend the Gap project team comprises seven organizations from France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Ireland working together to achieve the project goals and achieve the expected results for women and educators in our regions. Within the project team, there is a good balance of NGOs involved in education and training for women and companies that have already implemented successful projects in the field of vocational training and the circular economy.
On this page, you will find our news items, short blog entries and copies of our project brochures and newsletters. We will add to this page and keep it regularly updated throughout the project.
If you would like to get involved in the Mend the Gap project, please feel free to contact your local partner:
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them. Project number – 2022-1-FR01-KA220-VET-