• Jobs, Skills & Impact

Voluntary Targets 2021 Report on Women in Leadership Positions

Download the Voluntary Targets 2021 publication

Wanted: More women in leadership roles in European industry


BRUSSELS, 5 MARCH 2021 – The European Round Table for Industry (ERT) today publishes updated targets for the advancement of women in 38 industrial and technology companies headquartered in Europe – as well as figures on the progress towards achieving these targets.

The report reflects a growing corporate culture at a wide range of European multinationals which aims to promote inclusion and gender equality, by fostering better gender balance across the talent pipeline, in the management of operations and in executive roles.

Securing equal opportunities and access to the labour market is one of the main chapters of the European Pillar of Social Rights and a priority of the European Union’s 2020 Gender Equality Strategy, which these companies embrace. Building on previous editions, this year’s report includes first-time data from ABB, Capgemini, Ferrovial and AB Volvo.

Paulo Azevedo, Chair of the ERT Committee on Jobs, Skills & Impact and Chairman of Sonae commented


Since 2013, ERT has published annual updates on the companies led by its members, outlining the targets and figures on the share of women in their businesses. This initiative aims to reflect their commitment to enhancing gender equality by setting targets, tracking progress and exchanging good practice.

Examples of concrete actions to build an inclusive and diverse workforce can be explored on the dedicated microsite: https://embracedifference.ert.eu/


It is encouraging to see that the regular publication of this report is showing significant and growing momentum year-after-year: more women in overall leadership positions and more women in the most senior leadership positions. However, it is also clear that ensuring a gender balance remains an overall key challenge with some sectors struggling to achieve substantial progress. The current and foreseen skill scarcity, which is being dramatically increased by the accelerating digital transformation, constitutes both a necessity and an opportunity to include more women in vital positions of our Industry. We need more women in the talent pipeline and in executive roles to make the most of the EU’s ambitious vision for our future.
Paulo Azevedo
  • Paulo Azevedo
  • Chair of the ERT Committee on Jobs, Skills & Impact and Chairman of Sonae