The Diplomat. 09/08/2018
Number of women in the Diplomatic Service has stagnated in recent years at the threshold of 25%, a phenomenon that worried the last foreign ministers.
At the beginning of 2017 there were 959 Spanish diplomats, of whom 731 were men and 228 women. Some data that hardly vary nowadays. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, addressed this issue in the Congress, suggesting that this stagnation may be the due to the fact that 25% is also the percentage of women who present themselves to the oppositions.
“Women pass the admission exams in the same proportion that men. If there are no more women, it is because they do not appear and (…) because the incorporation of women into the diplomatic career has been later, as it has also been to engineering”, he argued.
The women joined late to certain professions, including the diplomatic. That makes that in certain age strata that 25% is lower. That percentage is the average over all ages, but it increases in the younger promotions while it is lower in the higher promotions.
To this is added that to be an ambassador it takes twenty years of diplomatic career, hence the proportion of women in that stratum is lower. What Borrell can do is to increase the number of women who are high positions. At present there are six women as general directors within the Ministry and it is the minister’s intention that there be one more, so that the resulting proportion is 40% women and 60% men.