Your party

Our Issues

Our Events

PES Women President’s blog

Gender quotas: Europe cannot afford the loss of 50 percent of its talent

I was happy to hear this week’s good news as on Tuesday 26 November, Germany decided the introduction, from 2016, of a quota requirement of at least 30% of women in supervisory boards. Although, this was part of the coalition agreement, its confirmation is an important signal for Germany and the EU, who has worked on similar legislation in the past years.

As you know, the European Commission proposed a similar provision at the end of 2012 to finally tackle the gender imbalance in decision-making. The original proposal – though rather weak (in both its scope and sanctions), was welcomed by PES women and our political family.

Thanks to the good work and strong support from the S&D group, the European Parliament successfully adopted the report in November 2013. Unfortunately, negotiations at Council level quickly lead to a dead end and left the situation blocked. The introduction of similar quota in Germany is hence an important signal and hopefully domino effect for other Member States and the EU to follow. PES Women hopes that this move will provide the Council with the necessary political impetus to move forward. And ensure that women no longer remain under-represented in decision-making. Europe cannot afford the loss of 50% of its talent.

The importance of women in decision-making was repeatedly mentioned as a necessary tool to foster growth, diversity and equality during my participation at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung seminar, which focused on the contribution of women to growth and economic recovery.

One of the policies that clearly needs to be reinforced is the balance between work and private life, so that women do not have to choose between professional engagement or family responsibility but that Europe can ensure a fair level of paid leave and protection against unfair dismissal. PES Women also calls for unblocking the stagnating situation at Council level on the Maternity leave.  If not unblocked, Europe will miss the opportunity to improve the situation of women in Europe, at a time when we talk so much about restoring a more social Europe!

Do you like this post?