Women account for 20% of the working population in Europe, and most of that group works as head office staff. But there are no quotas in place to address this lack of diversity, leaving this gender divide unfixed. According to a recent Statistics from the European Union report, published at the beginning of March, women make up around one-fifth of the workforce in countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. However, the numbers range widely from Denmark, where women account for 48 percent of the workforce, to Greece, where women make up just 22 percent of the work force.
Michele Scornavacchi, the managing director of EU commission, says, “It’s time for a new era of gender equality that frees up the mind and the heart, because in the end, how much we can do and achieve without that go together,” according to European Women’s Network, which conducted a survey of more than 700 European women who are part of organizations of a comparable size in 12 countries. The reality, as the above list of results shows, is that there are many female heads of boards and senior executives in the European Union, but they are outnumbered by their male counterparts. The same study found that the gender imbalance starts early, with at least 30 percent of board members at preschool levels and 50 percent in elementary school. In secondary schools, it is even worse — more than 80 percent of students who do well in humanities and science are girls. When women graduate from university, the percentage of women for senior roles barely increases. It is expected that by 2030 there will be more women working and more women in leadership positions. But this will not be enough, unless change in attitudes — and especially gender equality — starts at the educational level. —Rebecca Seward