The joint Declaration on Gender Equality presented by Spain, Belgium, and Hungary as part of the trio presidency programme of the Council of the European Union emphasizes the pivotal role of gender equality as a fundamental human right and a cornerstone of the European Union. This declaration highlights the significant impact of crises on women’s lives and underlines the urgency of addressing pre-existing structural gender inequalities, norms, and stereotypes.
ANE is thrilled to observe that the declaration accentuates the critical role of gender equality in confronting contemporary challenges and driving sustainable, inclusive growth. Notably, for female engineers and STEM professionals, the declaration highlights that attracting more women to the STEM sector is a top priority.
The declaration specifically emphasizes:
- Combating gender segregation in education and the labour market, particularly within the STEM sector. The declaration underlines the need to attract more women and girls to these fields, acknowledging the importance of gender equality for economic growth and successful digital transitions.
- Enhancing initiatives for women’s economic empowerment, narrowing pay and pension gaps, and addressing gender disparities in care.
- Integrating the gender dimension into climate change policies and the European Green Deal to promote women’s agency, leadership, and decision-making in sustainability efforts.
While significant strides have been made in the Nordics, challenges persist, such as the underrepresentation of women in STEM (with only around 33% of female STEM graduates in Scandinavia) and an unexplained 4% wage discrepancy affecting female engineers within Sveriges Ingenjörer [Engineers of Sweden] and IDA.
The transition from declaration to concrete policies and initiatives remains a crucial next step. The declaration aligns with the EU Pay Transparency Directive, obliging EU companies to disclose salary-related information, empowering employees to compare earnings and exposing gender-based pay gaps.
The trio presidency’s shared ambition is to contribute to the preparation, adoption and implementation of the Strategic Agenda for the period 2024-2029. What key action points do you think should be on the top of the agenda in order to push gender equality ahead? We’re inviting all of you working in STEM sectors to jump into the conversation on LinkedIn. Just pop in the hashtag #ListenToEngineers and share your thoughts.
Let’s pave the way for a fairer future!