Did You Know That Only 30% of Women Hold Leadership Positions in Europe? How to Overcome This Inequality and Achieve Change?

Although there has been so much said about gender equality in recent years, and even though this topic rightfully gains increasing support in society, the insufficient representation of women in leadership positions is still clearly visible. As per the Gender Diversity Report conducted by European Women on Boards, it indicates that there is a 30% representation of women in general leadership functions in Europe. However, at the executive level of company decision-makers, the representation drops to 19% for women. These figures reflect the underrepresentation of women in executive positions within companies across Europe. Efforts are being made to address this gender disparity and promote greater gender diversity in corporate leadership.

In this article, we will explore the possible barriers preventing women from reaching leadership positions and discuss ways to support equality and thus create an environment where women can fully utilize their potential.

What Prevents Women from Reaching Leadership Positions?

This low representation of women in leadership positions can have a negative impact on the functioning, effectiveness, and management of an organization. It is important to actively work on removing barriers and promoting equal opportunities for women in terms of career development and leadership. We are proud of the fact that at EDU Effective, women make up to 50% of the management staff, which contributes not only to the greater diversity but it also brings different perspectives and opinions on our functioning and development. 

What are then the barriers that prevent women from breaking through into leadership positions?

1. Gender Stereotypes and Biases

Prejudices based on gender stereotypes often lead to the inaccurate assumption that men are more suitable for leadership positions, while women are associated with caring for the organizational atmosphere or supporting teamwork. It is important to realize that the abilities associated with successful leadership are not by any means tied to a gender.

2. The Concept of the “Glass Ceiling”

The concept of the glass ceiling is an invisible barrier that prevents women from advancing to higher positions in the organizational hierarchy, even if they have the necessary qualifications and skills. In practice, it is observed that women succeed in climbing the corporate ladder up to the level of middle management, but their progress is halted due to the glass ceiling.

3. Lack of Equal Opportunities in Career Development

Women often encounter unequal access to training and mentoring. Investments in the development of male employees are often preferred, widening the gap between male and female workers. As a result of this inequality, women may lack the key skills and support necessary for advancement to higher positions.

How can we promote an inclusive environment that respects equal opportunities and increases the number of women in leadership positions?

Corporate Policies and Programs Supporting Equal Opportunities

In the fight against gender stereotypes and biases, it is important to implement policies that promote equal opportunities, provide development programs, and ensure transparent evaluation and promotion based on qualifications and performance, not gender.

TIP! According to a survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), almost 90% of professional MBA course graduates stated that professional education brought them opportunities for career growth, such as promotions, salary increases, and better job offers.

Mentoring and Collaboration With Women Who Already Hold Successful Leadership Roles

Mentoring provides women with an opportunity to gain valuable advice, support, and encouragement from experienced professionals who can share their knowledge and experience in career development. At the same time, they have the opportunity to enrich themselves with new perspectives, insights into significant leadership areas, and build a network of useful contacts.

Strengthening Women’s Competencies and Confidence Through Development Courses

Strengthening women’s competencies and confidence through development courses is an investment in their professional growth and success. These courses help overcome barriers that prevent women from reaching leadership positions and create a supportive environment where women are motivated and encouraged to fulfill their potential. This includes strengthening communication skills, leadership, strategic thinking, decision-making, and conflict management.

At EDU Effective, we offer precisely such development courses that will help you gain the exact knowledge you need. You have the opportunity to educate yourself in the areas of leadership, management, marketing, HR, and much more. With us and our Effective courses, you will receive a quality education – Effective MBA, MSc., MPA, LL.M., – starting at just 695 EUR, of which 25 EUR will be donated to charitable organizations of your choice. Additionally, our study only requires 15 minutes a day. This will give you enough time not only for your professional growth but also for your family, friends, and whatever else brings you joy.

Source: https://europeanwomenonboards.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/2021-Gender-Diversity-Index.pdf

  1. Arcico Weldy S says:

    Thank for the information, please visit

  2. How can mentorship and sponsorship programs contribute to closing the gender gap in European leadership positions?

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