Women in management of SMEs: comparative study

April 2016
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Social or classic companies…. Scandinavia, Eastern, Western and Sounthern Europe… Which of these contexts is the most favorable to break the glass ceiling? This is the question that the partners of the Gender Balance Power Map project tried to answer in this comparative study. 

Even if the well known quotas – imposed or not – have highly contributed to the improvement of gender equality in the economic decision-making process, small companies remain on the outside of all these arrangements, whatever incentives or not.

What barriers and opportunities do women face in small companies in Europe?

Generally speaking, gender equality is higher in social enterprises than in conventional ones. Yet in both types of companies, we find the same gender stereotypes. None of those two types of organizations have set up measures to support women's access to decision-making positions.

The different Members States covered by the study (Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Romania) differ by their historical path and by the policies they adopted those last decades, in particular with regard to work-life balance.

The study opens up on several recommendations to implement at the European and national levels as well as in companies to support women's access to decision-making positions in European SMEs, regardless their size or their social impact.