The “Glass Ceiling” : Women in management positions in public and private sector and in politics

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Updated on 29 November 2013

Across the EU, women are still largely outnumbered by men in positions of responsibility. Women remain substantially under-represented in senior positions, particularly at the highest levels, whether in politics,  business or administration. For example, in the EU Member States, women represent around 27% of members of parliament and government ministers. And although major progress has been made over the years, even in the European Parliament today women only account for 36% of members.

The situation is worst in industry, with women making up an average of 17% of  board members in the largest EU listed companies and only 4% of women members on the council of presidents. The European Parliamentary Research Service’s Statistical Note ‘Women in politics, business and public administration in the EU‘ from November 2013 offers a global overview.

At the end 2012, the European Commission proposed new legislation (COM(2012)0614) to tackle the issue of women’s underrepresentation in business management…

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