EIGE at 9th Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Women leaders in Business and Politics

EIGE at 9th Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Women leaders in Business and Politics


Women continue to be under-represented in decision-making positions at all levels, even in the sectors and occupations where they dominate in terms of numbers. Despite numerous actions to address gender imbalances in decision-making, the rate of progress in most EU Member States is low. The European Institute for Gender Equality provides reliable statistics that can be used to draw comparisons between European countries and analyse the current situation and trends through time. The glass ceiling is not only an EU problem. Around the world, women are under-represented in politics. Although numbers have doubled in the last 20 years, only 23.6%
of all members of parliament worldwide are women. This situation looks only slightly better in the EU. The rate of progress of women members in national parliaments is far too slow. Since 2003 the proportion of women members of national parliaments in the EU increased from 21.9% to 30.0%. In comparison, women members of the Parliament in Spain account for more than 40% (41.1%) of all members of the parliament as of 2018. Women must have the same opportunities as men to reach
leadership positions, including in the economic area. The share of women on the boards of large companies across the EU has more than doubled since October 2010 but progress has been concentrated in just a few countries where governments have taken legislative or other forms of action such as France, Germany and Italy. Elsewhere there has been little improvement. Latest data collected by the EIGE show that women accounted for just a quarter (25.3%) of board members in the largest publicly listed companies registered in EU Member States Spain with 22%. Despite some progress at board level across the EU, very few women reached the highest positions in large companies: less than 1 in 10 companies have a female chair or Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In order to tackle the steady pace of women’s representation in politics and business leading positions, more comprehensive strategies should be considered in order to improve gender equality at all levels of society, including education, employment, family and private life.

Danny Hutson

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