On 16 March 2023, France Clusters organised a webinar on “Professional equality in sectors and territories” with testimonies from clusters with inspiring initiatives and the presentation of the new Equality Plan 2023-2027 by a representative of the French Ministry in charge of Equality Between Women and Men, Diversity and Equal Opportunities. This interministerial plan for equality between women and men had just been announced by the Prime Minister on the eve of International Women’s Rights Day. Composed of around one hundred measures, this plan aims to continue France’s proactive policy of the past six years, since it has been declared a “great national cause” after the election of the French President. This plan is based on four main areas: the fight against violence to women; women’s health; the culture of equality; and professional and economic equality. The webinar focused on the latter.


PENELOPE-PROJECT (co-funded by the European Union as part of the ERASMUS+ programme) was also presented in the framework of this webinar. As a matter of fact, this project echoes some of the measures in the government’s plan that were presented by the Ministry of Equality to strengthen the SMEs’ actions in favour of professional equality. More and more large companies are implementing gender equality strategies but for SMEs this is more difficult. They do not always know how to go about it. However, more and more clusters in Europe are launching awareness-raising and training actions to empower SMEs to take action. By coordinating these efforts and actions at European level, we can have a great impact and develop common tools and training content accessible to all.