Diversity and Inclusion: European Commission acts to reach at least 40% women in management

A new Diversity and Inclusion Charter and fresh action to reach at least 40% women in its management by 1 November 2019 are two key features of the Commission’s new human resources policy.

The purpose is to create a better workplace for all – including women, staff with disabilities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersex (LGBTI) staff and older staff. Concrete steps will be taken to make best use of the talent of all of the Commission’s employees.

Commissioner Gunther H. Oettinger in charge of budget and human resources said: “We want our staff to be valued and accepted, irrespective of their age, gender, sexual orientation or disabilities. If we build on this diversity, we will be more innovative and deliver better results for our citizens.

A true equal opportunity workplace: at least 40% in female management

In addition to the Diversity and Inclusion strategy, the Commission has today adopted a set of robust measures to bring female representation in its management to at least 40% by 1 November 2019. These include individual targets for all Commission departments when it comes to appointing someone as Head of Unit for the first time. Departments that are falling behind their targets may be asked to attract suitable female candidates before proceeding with an appointment.

These measures come on top of those adopted earlier, including efforts to identify, develop and support female talent, targeted training sessions as well as mentoring.

A better workplace for all: the Commission’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy

The Diversity and Inclusion strategy focuses on four main target groups: women, staff with disabilities, LGBTI people and older staff.

The strategy contains cross-cutting but also specific measures to address the concerns of each of these groups, including:

  • For women, specific management programmes and support for existing and new women networks
  • For disabled staff, involvement in the planning of access and mobility facilities in Commission buildings.
  • For LGBTI, awareness activities and trainings for managers and staff, in particular to address any unconscious bias.
  • For older staff, monitor whether they face any discrimination when applying for new jobs.

The strategy will start a process of reporting, monitoring and further fine-tuning of proposed measures. The first Diversity and Inclusion Report will be published in spring 2018.


The Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is part of the ongoing efforts of the Commission to make the best use of its talent.

Today’s measures also aim to deliver on the commitment of the Juncker Commission towards the Commission staff. They follow President Juncker’s mission letter to Commissioner Oettinger, in which the Commissioner was asked to develop “a diversity strategy for the personnel and administrative policy of the Commission” and to “achieve our common target of 40%” of female management in the Commission.

Last year, the Commission adopted its talent management strategy. It focused on promoting mobility among its middle management.

Organisations that embrace a diverse workforce and are inclusive to all tend to deliver better results, innovate more and are able to take better decisions.

Further information

This article is written by the European Commission and is available in English, French and German.

An in-depth Q&A can be found here. More information on the diversity and inclusion strategy can be accessed here.

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