Eradicating sexism to change the face of the EU

Sexism continues to have an impact on our workplaces and societies, with women being under-represented in most decision-making positions.

In September 2020, according to EIGE’s Gender Statistics Database, 86 % of presidents and prime ministers and 69 % of government ministers in the EU-28 are men[1]. Across the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, 66 % of senior administrators are men[2]. The majority of EU institutions are led by men[3].

Only 20 years ago, the gap between women and men was even more pronounced. 100 % of EU countries and 90 % of EU institutions were led by men[4]. 86 % of senior administrators in the EU institutions were men[5].

Women in leadership positions are still a relatively new phenomenon. This reality shapes our conscious and unconscious beliefs about who should hold what role in the work context. When asked to draw a leader, most people will draw a man[6].

As this handbook has shown, there is still some way to go to end sexism. Being able to identify sexism and having the right tools to tackle it will help organisations bring in and retain more women. This will help them change the face of the EU to better represent the reality of its citizens.