Brussels, 7 March 2014
European Commission hits equal opportunity targets 11 months in advance
The Commission is marking International Women's Day with news that it has achieved its targets for female representation 11 months ahead of schedule.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "I am delighted that we can celebrate International Women's Day with evidence of concrete progress on equal opportunities within the European Commission.
"The Commission faces growing challenges: workforce demographics, a 5% reduction in staff and increasing expectations from our stakeholders. So getting the most from all our staff, women as well as men, is no longer just desirable; it's essential. That is why I made equal opportunities a key priority of my mandate, and I hope my successor continues to build on this success."
The Equal Opportunity Strategy 2010-2014 fixed targets for 31 December 2014 in three areas where women were under-represented: 25% for senior management, 30% for middle management and 43% for non-management administrator posts.
The latest figures show that all three targets were achieved on 1 February 2014: 27.9% of senior managers are now women, 30.3% of middle managers and 43.2% of non-management administrators. These percentages are expected to continue rising. They represent a significant improvement compared to 1995, when just 4% of senior managers were women, 10.7% of middle managers and 23.9% of non-management administrators.
The Commission has been actively engaged in improving its internal gender balance since 1988. The current strategy, which was adopted in the first year of the current Commission in 2010, builds on previous achievements, while signalling renewed ambition. Past experience showed that for targets to be effective, such an approach had to be complemented with workplace-related measures. The recent review of the Staff Regulations which entered into force on 1 January 2014 introduced an express reference to flexible working arrangements. Now nearly 10% of Commission staff are teleworkers, and around 40% of staff are equipped with a token allowing them to work from anywhere, anytime. Evidence showed that for women in particular, flexibility was a key factor in encouraging them to take on greater responsibilities.
The current strategy also recognises that commitment from senior managers is critical to success. The Commission therefore put in place the conditions for greater leadership and accountability from its senior management. Individual Directorates-General and services must account for their achievements against a common performance framework. Their respective performances are assessed on the basis of the calculation of an Equal Opportunities Index. This led to the award of the first Balanced Workplace Labels to nine Directorates-General at the forefront of equal opportunity efforts. Quarterly monitoring of the gender representation targets at Directorate-General level is also done by the Directorate-General for Human Resources and Security.
Communication on the strategy on equal opportunities for women and men within the European Commission (2010–2014):