Women in Business

Women in Business

We are seeing an increasingly lively debate in the corporate world about shifting the leadership culture and practice from competition to collaboration; slowly social and sustainable business models are beginning to replace pure profit driven enterprises. EWL is seeking new ways of engaging with progressive parts of the business world to develop strategies to support equality between women and men and women’s rights eg. closing the gap in pay and leadership; women in social entrepreneurship; women in the digital economy etc.

The data: overrepresentation of men

  • Of the largest publicly listed companies in EU member states, 77% of the company board members are men.
  • Only in ten EU member states - Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK - the largest publicly listed companies have more than 20% female company board members.
  • Across the EU, 95% of CEOs of the largest publicly listed companies are men.
  • In 9 countries- Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Latvia and Poland - none of the CEOs of the largest publicly listed companies are women.

Data source

What can be done to strengthen the role of women in business?

  • Binding measures must apply to both executive and non-executive boards
  • Further action is needed to increase proportion of female CEOs
  • Effective measures require regular monitoring and intermediary targets
  • Measures must be enforced with firm sanctions
  • Quotas must be introduced as part of a comprehensive policy package that seeks to address the fundamental causes of women’s underrepresentation in economic decision-making

What is the EWL - and its members - doing to support women in business?

EU policy in place to support women in business

External links

Latest video

EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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