The EESC welcomes the proposal for a directive for improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on the stock exchange with a minimum objective of 40% by 2020. The EESC and the Commission recognise the need to respect the freedom to conduct business. This directive is a minimum standard which seeks to improve the conditions for business prosperity and allows Member States to progress beyond the measures recommended.
Europe 2020 and Horizon 2020 goals will not be reached without stronger input from female scientists. Today, only 20% of all professors and just 10% of university vice-chancellors are women. This issue is constantly raised by both civil society and EU institutions, yet there is a lack of focus on this topic. The opinion aims to analyse the reasons for the gender gap in science (especially in STEM fields) and tackle the main obstacles to gender equality in science. It will provide a thorough analysis of the education and science sectors in the EU in relation to gender and make recommendations to ensure the appropriate talent allocation, which will increase Europe’s talent pool, promote employability and innovation and benefit the economy.