1st E+FR Award

AESE was the stage for the presentation of the 2004/2005 Most Family-Friendly Company Award, a joint project between the School and Deloitte, in collaboration with Diário Económico and Central de Comunicação.

Recognised at this ceremony were PT, in the large company category, in the person of Luís Cabral Moura, and IBM, in the medium-sized company category, represented by Dr José Joaquim Oliveira. Despite the crisis in the sector, the Jury decided to award Honourable Mention to the company Têxteis Nortenha, for best practice in the work-life balance. Present to accept the award was Dr Inês Branco.

Dr Raúl Diniz, President of AESE, thanked IESE, the Sponsor Companies, the Jury and the 54 companies that responded to the survey for their collaboration.

Work and family are complementary spheres that enable the optimisation of the human being. Since people who lead balanced and happy lives enrich companies, human values must take precedence over socioeconomic enrichment, which often creates tension with regard to marriage and family.

In the 21st century, “Social Responsibility” will be embraced by companies, with the aim of achieving beneficial results, not only for the organisations, but also for the employees and their respective families. Policies for balancing work and life are a true competitive advantage, since they increase motivation and productivity and reduce absenteeism.

Luís Magalhães, Chairman of Deloitte, stressed the courage of the companies that have publicised the policies that they are undertaking. In the future, it is expected that the number of companies involved in this initiative will increase and that organisations with policies for work-life balance “will see increased support in this area”. Luís Magalhães concluded by stating that, in Portugal, organisations are moving toward “doing the right thing, not the easy thing”.

After Fátima Carioca’s presentation on the process of examination and selection of the winners, the methodology used and the data collected, Prof. Núria Chinchilla reflected on the “reconciliation of work and family”, an issue covered in her book, A Ambição Feminina [Feminine Ambition], released the following day at El Corte Inglés. The work done by the International Centre for Work and Family, where she is the Director, has had effects on Spanish legislation. In Portugal, she hopes that this study will resonate with the appropriate authorities. It should be noted that productivity is very low relative to the European average, despite workers spending more time at the office.

In fact, work and family are inseparable realities, and, where these two things are misaligned, the company is responsible for establishing a balance. Only then can we speak of companies becoming more humanist.

Dr. Artur Santos Silva, President of the Jury, announced the winners, vowing to make the Most Family-Friendly Company Award even more prestigious. It is important to “make people happier in terms of what they consider most important”.