In all the 12 Member States today the percentage of women in the working population is increasing, but still many more women than men work at lower levels, and the latter hold most of the decision‐making positions. It is therefore still a reality that the “second half” of the Euro‐pean population is far from being equally represented at decision‐making levels. This is true for the public service and for the private sector. Current statistics have proved again that progress in the past year has been very slow, and because this progress has been much slower than an‐ticipated some years ago, it has become obvious in the meantime that even qualified women do not automatically reach decision‐making positions. Even if today relatively more women are entering the higher public services than in previous years, their percentage remains relatively lower than that of men who started their careers at the same time. Therefore, if there is no automatism, what can be done to reach a more balanced situation especially at the upper le‐vels?
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