V-P Šefčovič welcomes Commission gender policy success on International Women's Day
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič took part in a number of events on Thursday to celebrate International Women's Day and highlight the work of the European Commission towards creating a gender balanced working environment that helps its staff get the most from their work.
The Vice-President, whose remit includes responsibility for EU staff and human resources, started the day with a breakfast debate with the 12 women directors and deputy directors at the European Commission to discuss in particular how to encourage more women into senior management posts.
Only 20-25% or so of Commission staff eligible for senior management positions (i.e. in grades AD 12 and 13) are women, which means that women candidates for such positions are likely to be outnumbered by four to one. The Commission is keen to ensure that more women can reach these higher grades – something which is harder for many women who take time out from work to raise families, for example – and wants women to account for at least 25% of its senior management by 2014.
V-P Šefčovič expanded on this and other issues later in the day at a lunchtime conference with Commission staff in Brussels, with live links to other Commission offices across the EU.
He highlighted the fact that around 55% of Commission staff are women, and that, thanks in part to the most recent enlargements, the gender balance has been redressed significantly over the last few years: the current proportion of women in senior management (24.8%) is six times what it was in 1995, while the representation of women in middle management has almost tripled over the same period of time, with the percentage of female middle managers increasing from 10.7% in 1995 to 27.1% in December 2011.
He also stressed the importance of the Commission's proposal on gender equality adopted in 2010, which set gender balance targets for 2014: at least 25% of senior managers, 30% of middle managers and 43% of non-management AD staff should be women by that date. Many Directorate-Generals have already exceeded these targets, while the others have Action Plans in place to ensure that they do so as well.
Video from the lunchtime conference.