Last Spring, The Economist trumpeted “womanpower” as the driving force for the world economy. But if Europe’s economy is to become more competitive and innovative, it is not enough that women enter the labor market in droves. To reap the full fruits of women’s talents, they must be in more top jobs, too, both in the public and private sector.
Women in Western Europe have long since bridged the education gap with their male peers. Women not only outnumber men at universities; they also outperform them, most notably in math, physics, and information science. But female students’ academic achievements have not increased women’s presence in top jobs. In Europe, the percent of women on corporate boards remains in single digits, as is true of the top ranks of government and academia.