Halfway to gender equality in decision-making

The EU score in the domain of power[1] has increased by almost 12 points since 2010, and by 1.6 points between 2017 and 2018, maintaining the same pace of increase registered between 2016 and 2017. Nevertheless, the EU score for the power domain (53.5) remains the lowest for any domain (Figure 18).

The biggest improvements in the power domain in 2018 were in Spain (7.4 points) and the Netherlands (7.2 points) (Figure 19). Both have made great leaps forward in economic decision-making, with increases of 11.4 points and 16.6 points, respectively. However, while Spain showed improvement in gender equality in all subdomains, the Netherlands lost ground in the subdomain of social power (– 3.5 points).

The Member State with the biggest increase since 2010 was France, with 27.4 points, followed by Italy, Luxembourg and Germany, all surpassing 20 points of improvement. Those four Member States saw the greatest increases in economic decision-making, although Italy and Luxembourg showed decreases in gender equality in decision-making in the social subdomain (– 4.7 and – 2.9 points, respectively).

Figure 18. Scores for the domain of power and its subdomains (2018), and changes over time

Figure 19. Scores for the domain of power, and changes since 2010 and 2017, in the EU Member States

Romania and Slovenia experienced a regression between 2017 and 2018, showing a decrease of 2.6 points and 1.3 points each. Romania’s score for social decision-making decreased by 10 points, with little improvement (barely 1 point) in other subdomains.

Slovenia was the only EU Member State that showed a significant decrease (– 5.7 points) in economic decision-making, countering the overall positive trend for this subdomain from 2017 to 2018; it also had the biggest decrease in gender equality in political decision-making for the same period.

Poland, Hungary and Czechia showed a decrease in their overall scores in the power domain from 2010. Czechia and Hungary had the biggest decreases in economic decision-making (– 11 and – 14 points, respectively), while Poland’s score for social decision-making decreased by 11 points, the biggest decrease in social decision-making among the Member States for that period.

Improved gender equality in economic decision-making meant that it continued to lead the scores among the subdomains, increasing by 3.2 points between 2017 and 2018 and by 17.9 points overall since 2010. This trend was underpinned by the push for greater gender equality on the boards of the largest publicly quoted companies.

There was a 1.9 point increase in gender equality in political decision-making from 2017 to 2018, an increase of 11.6 points overall since 2010. Sweden, France and Finland continued to display the greatest gender balance in this domain.

Even though women’s representation in decision-making in research, the media and sport remains the highest among all subdomains (57.6 points), it has decreased (– 0.6 points) since 2017. However, it increased by a total of 3.9 points between 2010 and 2018.