Across the EU, women are underrepresented in decision-making positions, particularly in politics and business, even if the situation varies from country to country. The European Parliament has argued that only EU-wide legislation will really improve the position of, and opportunities for, women in Europe. Moreover, studies have shown that not taking full advantage of the skills of highly qualified women constitutes a waste of talent and a loss of economic growth potential.
The European Committee of the Regions and its Joint Committees on Equal Opportunities (COPEC) are pleased to invite you to mark International Women's Day 2017 with a lunchtime debate entitled "Women on Board: Gender equality in politics, management and boards in Europe" at 13.00 on 1 March 2017 at the European Committee of the Regions premises.
According to a European Commission factsheet from 2015, 60% of new university graduates are female but despite this, women are outnumbered by men in leadership positions in the corporate sector in the EU. On average, only 21.2% of board members of the largest publicly listed companies in the EU are women. While this marks a significant increase from 11.9% in 2010 when the European Commission first put the issue of women in leadership positions high on the political agenda, there is still a very long way to go if we are to achieve gender balance.
This event therefore aims to inspiring stories of best practice for breaking the glass ceiling and an occasion to challenge governments and corporations on gender imbalance.