Frequently asked questions

Here you will find answers to your most frequent questions

Shouldn’t it be "Women at the Top"? "Women On Top" sounds a bit... 

"Women On Top" is shorter and makes you pay attention, right? It’s not just that, of course! We believe that all of us have something we want to "get over”: unemployment, lack of confidence, a difficult boss, a situation we don't know how to handle, a life transition, [fill in the blank]. While "at the top" talks about the top, "on top" speaks about our small personal victories. Which, at the end of the day, add up to many small top moments for each of us.

You say you are a non-profit. Why then should women who seek mentoring pay? 

Women On Top is indeed a non-profit organization - this means that no one, not even its founders, has access to any of its profits, and that these are always used either to grow the organization or to support its beneficiaries. It does not mean, however, that the organisation doesn’t have expenses or that it doesn’t need to sustain itself. There’s rent to be covered, associates to be paid, materials to be purchased, as well as an executive team that needs the necessary resources to do the work with the best possible impact!

Where does your income come from?

The necessary resources that WoT needs to sustain itself and implement its strategic programming come from 4 main sources: from our corporate partnerships, from EU funding, from philanthropic foundations (Greek or international) and from periodic crowdfunding campaigns, in which we ask people who believe in our work to support a specific initiative of ours. All this data is documented every year in the organization's annual report and of course is in accordance with the principles outlined in our statutes.

What do your volunteers do? 

We always need volunteers, in a variety of fields, but we just can't use them all at the same time. There are specialties that we lack a lot of (mentors, photographers, graphic designers, educators, administrative support volunteers), so if you happen to be available for any of those you won’t have to wait much before you are called up to contribute! In other specialties, which are characterized by periodicity (trainers, event management volunteers etc.), waiting time may be longer, but your contribution will always be valuable to us.

But haven’t we solved this gender equality issue? 

Frankly, we don't think that's the case. Why; The short answer is that, in recent years, our country has been ranking very low in the European Gender Equality Index, with an average score of 53.4/100, in contrast to the European average of 68.6/100. The long answer is as follows: The total employment rate of women is 44.4% and of men 59.7%. The unemployment rate of women is higher (20.2%) than that of men (13.7%). In the field of entrepreneurship, the self-employment rate of women in schemes that employ staff is 4.6%, while that of men is 8.9%. The number of elected women in the Greek political scene is one of the lowest among EU countries. The National Parliament includes only sixty-five (65) women, while the government has 2 female ministers and 3 female deputy ministers. In Local Government, and specifically, in the Municipal & Regional elections of 2019, in a total of 332 Municipalities and 13 Regions, 19 female Mayors and 1 female Regional Head were elected. The percentage of women's representation on the Boards of Directors of the largest listed companies in Greece amounts to 10.2%. The wage gap stands at 12.5% and the overall wage gap is estimated at 41.4%. In the field of science and technology in Greece, women make up only 12.7% of ICT specialists, while they earn on average 22% less than men, 85% of Greek women have been victims of sexual harassment in their work. These figures show, at least to us, that we still have a long way to go in the field of equality - and we are here to cover part of the way.

I think our society has more serious issues to solve and feminism is the last thing we need right now. 

For better or worse, research shows that all the issues we have to deal with in the world are directly dependent on the issue of gender inequality and would be significantly improved by solving that one. Even at the level of the Sustainable Development Goals, gender equality is one of the Goals with the greatest impact: that is, any improvement in its indicators, would automatically mean improvement in more than 5 other Goals. Equality is an economic issue (the global economy is damaged by 160 trillion dollars a year due to gender discrimination), an issue of social cohesion, environmental sustainability, global peace (the participation of women in peace negotiations increases the duration and quality of the peace achieved) and well-being at all levels of social life.

So you're feminists? 

Yes, we are. We know feminism is a movement (or several movements) that seeks equality and freedom for all genders and the introduction of new principles and values in the way we do things, in the economy, work, politics, education, entrepreneurship, governance, public debate. So we adhere to the goals of feminism that have always been linked to cooperation and inclusion.

Some of the things you do sound like reverse discrimination. Why don't you accept men in your initiatives? 

Openness and inclusion are key pillars of our work. Women On Top aims to empower people who face discrimination at work because of their gender -it just so happens that, in Greece and internationally, the vast majority of these people are women. It goes without saying that if a man wants to attend the empowerment workshops we organize, he is always welcome as long as there are still free spots - and this is because our priority remains to empower those who do not often have access to such opportunities. It also goes without saying that we welcome men in all our open events, as speakers, participants, listeners. And, in a corporate context, we need men to participate equally in all our work-life balance-related activities as well as those that are aiming to prevent sexual harassment and to eliminate the effects of our unconscious biases. We do keep some of our programs, such as mentoring, women-only, and this is because we want all women - and those who define themselves as women - to be able to share the challenges they face at work  in an environment of understanding and confidentiality.