Sixtine Bouygues, the European Commission’s deputy director general of communications, on Thursday said she is “absolutely convinced” that the Commission’s objective of having 40 percent female management by 2019 will be reached.
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“[The Commission’s] senior management and middle management is respectively 36 percent and 38 percent female,” Bouygues said during POLITICO’s first Women Rule summit in Brussels. “So I am absolutely convinced that the 40 percent by 2019 objective” — a target set by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker — “will be reached.”
Bouygues pointed out the “vital” role held by women in the EU’s executive body.
She said that the Commission has done “quite a lot” to promote gender equality, equal pay, reduce violence against women and facilitate women’s access to the labor market, but that “unsurprisingly, the commissioners who have done that are all female.”
A longtime ally of the Commission’s powerful Secretary-General Martin Selmayr, Bouygues said the gender-equality discussion must be wider than a single EU institution. “We can’t put all the weight in the shoulders of one actor — the public and private sectors, and women themselves, have to be involved,” she argued.
“I have a feeling that quite a lot is happening,” she concluded, “but change will be exponential — when all different bits and pieces come together there will be a dramatic change.”