Ireland’s highest-ranking female EU politician, Mairead McGuinness MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, led a call for more women to take up senior positions within the European Institutions.
Addressing a gathering of policymakers, EU staff and stakeholders at an event to celebrate Irish Women in the EU, held by the Irish Permanent Representation in Brussels (2 December), McGuinness highlighted the contribution of Irish women to the work of the EU:
“The first step is to get Irish men and women into positions in the EU institutions and then to ensure that they progress along the line.
“There are traditionally more men than women in EU institutions at higher management levels and this is being addressed.”
Speaking alongside the European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources and Commission Vice-President, Kristalina Georgieva, McGuinness paid tribute to recently retired Commission Secretary General Catherine Day who played a hugely important role for 10 years at the highest level.
Irish women were further encouraged to work together, to network and connect with each other in the EU system in order to support each other in career progression.
“I warmly welcome the commitment by Commissioner Georgieva to work towards to a 40 percent target for women in management grades in the Commission by 2019. We need to communicate these opportunities for women ensure that our female graduates are equipped with the skills required for the roles, including languages skills,” McGuinness added.
The European Parliament has set similar targets for women in management jobs, progress is being made on the road to reaching our goals, McGuinness said.
“I would encourage Irish women and men to look at opportunities in the EU institutions,” she said.
In Ireland, EUjobs.ie is a Department of the Taoiseach webpage dedicated to supporting Irish citizens interested in pursuing a career in the EU institutions.