Woman Professional of the Year Award

The position of women in Czech society has been a much debated issue, with one of the most painful aspects being inequality in employment. A striking example is the fact that while the Czech government has repeatedly come up with proposals for various affirmative actions to increase the number of women in managerial posts in the state administration, not a single member of the cabinet is a woman. Vladimir Tax reports on a new award which is intended to acknowledge exceptional achievements by women in the workplace.

Earlier this week, the firm AMI Communications announced the launch of "the Professional Woman of the Year Award" intended to put the spotlight on women who achieve significant successes in their work. The organisers claim that there are many women in Czech society whose exceptional professional achievements go unrecognised, a situation which they hope to change. Ales Langr is the Managing Director of AMI Communications.

"The award is intended for women - professionals, women who are successful, women who achieved unique results in their job, in their profession. There are many, many beauty contests and they are very attractive for media and the public. In the very beginning of this idea, we felt that there are many other women who deserve certain recognition, certain appraisal, certain reward for their good work. And we feel that there are certain professions that are not that popular as they should be, doctors, physicians, scientists, these types of professions."

There are also awards for top female managers, for business women, what's the difference between the Professional of the Year Award and these contests?

"These other awards or contests are focused on a very limited group of women - entrepreneurs, managers. We would like to include these professions to our award as well, but not only these. We would like to evaluate and appreciate professions as I mentioned in the beginning, like social workers, scientists, artists."

What are the evaluation criteria? What kind of woman would qualify for the award?

"We have a special jury consisting of ten professionals, people who are informed about successes in their particular fields. This jury has to evaluate all participants in this award. We have certain criteria that should be followed but it's really up to the jury to decide in the end."

The winners of the award will be announced at a gala in the middle of October and Radio Prague will certainly be there.