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EWSDGE Documentation Workshop in Cardiff

How the European women shareholders are paving the way to gender balanced leadership?

  • From left to right: Prof. Jackie Jones, National Coordinator UK & Ireland, Miruna Bucurescu, EWSDGE Project Manager, Katharina Miller, National Coordinator Spain, Birgit Kersten, National Coordinator Germany, Sabine Overkämping, EWSDGE Research Director, Antonia Verna, National Coordinator Italy, Caroline Bommart, Nathalie Leroy, National Coordinator France, Sylvia Cleff Le Divellec, National Coordinator France, Dr. Katalin Prandler, National Coordinator Hungary, Marianne Eisma, Myriam van Varenbergh, National Coordinator BeNeLux, Svetlana Ganeva, National Coordinator Bulgaria and Margarete Hofmann, Delegate of the djb Executive Committee and EWLA Vice President.

(06.11.2016) The coordinators of the EWSDGE project from 12 EU Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Hungary and the United Kingdom) found a strong connection through their unique sense of female solidarity and commitment for gender equality through the EWSDGE project. They teamed up once again in Cardiff on 6th November 2015 to discuss the documentation of the EWSDGE project and to plan the EWSDGE final conference on 11th of February 2016.

The EWSDGE Research Director, Sabine Overkämping, brought good news to the meeting: on 27 of October 2015, the European Commission adopted its 2016 Work Program. It states explicitly under the first priority “A New Boost for Jobs, Growth and Investment” the following: “Special attention will be paid to work-life balance of working families, with a view to increasing women’s participation in the labour market. The Women on Boards Directive should be adopted in 2016 and the Commission will continue its practical work to promote gender equality.

From the beginning, the EWSDGE project has been supporting in a practical manner the efforts of the European Commission to reach adequate female representation in decision-making positions in the private sector. In order to progress corporate policies and to inspire corporate culture change we took action by visiting more than 100 Annual General Meetings of the highest turnover companies in the first half of 2015 in Europe, namely those of the EUROSTOXX 50-, and a selection of the BUX-, SOFIX and FTSE 100 indices. At the meeting in Cardiff, the EWSDGE coordinators brainstormed, presented their interim reports and discussed the next strategies which should be put forward for gender balanced leadership after the AGMs visits.

The experience at the AGMs, national legislation and trends on gender equality in each involved country served as a basis for preparing the results of our EWSDGE project including proposals for the national transposition of the CSR directive 2014/95 on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large companies and groups.

We decided that these and the recommendations will be the main objective of the EWSDGE print documentation which we are also finalizing at the moment. This documentation is intended as another means of supporting the development and transposition of European legislation as well as national legislation putting in place in this regard that promotes and protects gender equality. It is a way to review the EWSDGE project action on gender equality and to identify remaining challenges and gaps, on the basis of the provided information by EWSDGE coordinators.

All our activities support our mission: GENDER BALANCED LEADERSHIP: EUROPEAN WOMEN SHAREHOLDERS PAVE THE WAY. Also under this motto, the EWSDGE final conference will be held on 11th of February 2016 in Brussels.

We will invite experts in our respective fields, which will put their thoughts into discussion together with the EWSDGE project coordinators. Moreover, we came up with the idea that each EWSDGE coordinator (from BENELUX, FR, ES, DE, IT, BG, HU, UK/IR, FI), will chair a table where interested participants with representatives of visited companies, from the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Permanent Representations of the Member States to the EU as well as representatives of national ministries in charge and the European Parliament may join and discuss the transposition of the EWSDGE project recommendations, especially the transposition of the CSR directive in the different member states.

We are very looking forward to exciting contributions and lively discussions! You are welcome to join us!

The detailed agenda and online registration will follow soon.