The European Commission has exceeded the target set by President Jean-Claude Juncker in 2014 committing that, by the end of his mandate, 40% of the Commission’s middle and senior managers should be women. According to the latest data, female managers at all levels currently stand at 41%, up from 30% at the beginning of the mandate.
This is an increase of 37%. The figure is even higher at the level of the most numerous managers in the Commission, the middle managers or Heads of Unit. At present, 42% of them are women, up from 31% when the Juncker Commission took office. These achievements place the Commission amongst the public administrations around the world with the highest share of women in leadership positions.
Equality in management
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that Equality in all its forms is a core value of the European Union. Since day one of the Juncker Commission, the President pledged to reflect this inside this institution, including with a promise to increase female participation in management with a target of 40% by 1 November 2019.
Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, in charge of human resources and budget, said that:
- Research shows that gender-diverse organisations achieve better results. I am very proud that here in the Commission over 40% of our managers are already women. This guarantees diverse points of views in the discussions and in the decisions that we take for the benefit of EU’s 500 million citizens.
- The most impressive progress has been achieved at the very top of the organisation where female Directors-General now make up 38% of the total, up from 14% at the beginning of the mandate, an increase of 170%.
- At Deputy Director-General level, women currently hold 40% of the posts, up from 8% in November 2014. This is an increase of 400%.
In addition to strong commitment at the highest political level, the progress comes after a series of measures that the Commission put in place since the beginning of its mandate:
- Individual targets for all Commission departments when it comes to appointing someone as Head of Unit for the first time;
- Efforts to identify, develop and support female talent, targeted training sessions, mentoring and career guidance;
- Under the Diversity and inclusion strategy adopted in the summer of 2017, specific management programmes and support for existing and new female networks.
This is part of the Commission’s broader agenda on gender equality. The 2018-2019 Action Plan to tackle the gender pay gap foresees, among other initiatives, actions to break the glass ceiling by funding projects to improve the gender balance in companies at all management levels as well as encouraging governments and social partners to improve gender balance in decision-making.