Do we need laws to tear down the “Glass Ceilings”?

A few days ago, on November 25, 'World day for Violence against Women', all the media and social networks reported the gruesome numbers of femicides committed in the last year (more than 100 women killed since the beginning of 2022 in Italy alone) and the chilling videos of what happens to Iranian women - and in the rest of the world.

During the other 364 days of the year, the news that shocks with impressive stories and images is still accompanied by the sensation caused by the election of a female Prime Minister (last but not least, the election of the Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni ), while the appointment of the new Rector of the Milan Polytechnic fades almost into the background.

Donatella Sciuto, one of the 50 most influential Italian women in technology with a respectable curriculum vitae, dotted with important positions that could only lead her to very high goals, has been elected to lead the prestigious Italian university. There was talk of another "glass ceiling" being broken.

The same phrase was used recently by Ursula von der Leyen to give the green light from the European Parliament to the Directive on Women on Boards of Directors.

By the end of June 2026, all large companies listed in the European Union will have to reserve at least 40% of Non-Executive Director posts and 33% of total Director posts to women. This consensus comes 10 years after the European Commission's proposal and on which the current President commented: “The glass ceiling that prevented women from accessing top positions in companies has been broken. It's a truly historic and moving moment."

But is it still necessary to 'guarantee' with legislative provisions the access of women to institutional positions (the quotas raised in politics) or to the top management of a company of any kind? Wouldn't it be enough simply to recognize the merit, the careful preparation, the experience gained, the performances obtained as it happens when it is a man aspires to certain positions?

We certainly think that it would be more important and necessary to 'protect' women's lives with more restrictive legislative measures aimed at defending them from the harassment they suffer in many areas of daily life, from work to family.

In conclusion, it is important to make women autonomous and to recognize their independence, but it is essential to protect the freedom with which they decide to live. Only then, in our opinion, will the "glass ceiling" really be broken.

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