A BLOG POST BY BARONESS GOUDIE This week Baroness Catherine Ashton called for senior appointments in the EU’s External Action Service to be made on merit. This is an incredibly positive step in making real changes to the manner in which senior appointments are made throughout Europe.
In a reply to a parliamentary question tabled by London Conservative MEP Mrs.Yannakoudakis, Ashton's service wrote: "The basic principle of EEAS selection procedures is merit...in that context, the HR/VP has no current intention to introduce quotas for female staff in any category of staff, including Heads and Deputy Heads of Delegation."
London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis said in response: "It's not often that I find myself agreeing with Baroness Ashton, but on quotas she's got it right. Ashton has made it clear that she wants to hire the best possible people to do the job of representing the EU abroad and, in order to do so, she has ruled out staff quotas for women."
"I am pleased that there are more women in high positions in the EU External Action Service. Women are just as capable as men, and quotas actually serve to undermine gender equality."
"The Commission is clearly divided on quotas and I hope that this will mean that it will not table any legislative targets on gender diversity at the EU level."
As a founding member of the 30% Club steering committee this is an important step in highlighting the action that needs to be taken to change the manner in which senior appointments are made in Europe. The 30% Club is working hard to influence chairman into bringing more women onto UK corporate boards without the use of quotas. We are making great strides, but there is still much to be done to ensure women are identified for the boardroom.