On Monday, the justice minister in Malta announced he was joining with a group led by the United Kingdom to resist impending EU regulation that will set quotas and sanctions to get more female representation on corporate boards. A watchful reporter, Matthew Vella, called him out on the fact that Malta generally has a poor record on gender leadership–despite the fact that 60% of university students there are female. Vella also notes that female labor force participation in Malta is lower than any other nation in the European Union.
Indeed there is much more that could be said about Malta on gender. Of 135 countries ranked by the World Economic Forum, Malta ranks 83rd–several African countries often used as poor examples in gender comparisons are higher on the list. Though women in Malta are more educated than the men, they are 50% less likely to be in professional/technical jobs and they are paid about 67% of what men make.
One reader left a comment under the story in Malta Today, remarking that government was. . .
talking about the importance that this kind of law must be tackled individually by each member state, they talk about business, they talk about statistics but they fail to talk about the issue of how to stop this discrimination against women !! It seems that they are more interested in money than equality. I am more than sure that if in our country meritocracy is how people are chosen for a job, this discrimination will cease!!!
What becomes more and more clear is that the issue about women in leadership is not about merit at all. It’s about exclusion. And the fight is about fairness.