The pink bubble of wishful thinking and the truth about AST career future

On 8 March Generation 2004 organized a lunchtime conference dedicated to the career prospects for AST colleagues. The date was chosen deliberately as a reminder for the predominantly female gender ratio in the AST category. And while at a parallel event organized by DG HR on the same day, colleagues were presented a pink-optimistic picture about the career prospects for females in the Commission, we spoke facts (see presentation here): since 2004 there was a deliberate policy of juniorisation of recruitment with a consequent even more deliberate framing of the recruited in the AST category.

First, the certification eligibility was moved from AST 4 (in 2004) to AST 5 (in 2014), then massively colleagues were downgrades to AST/SC positions, then AST posts were massively cut… A situation, which was supposed to be transitional but it seems would last forever! Generation 2004 has attempted to hold consultations on AST policy – both with DG HR and at political level. The very sad and unfortunate conclusion is that there is no interest neither will by the management for general remedial measures! This is why we have decided to change the approach. Indeed, the probability for a general solution is highly unrealistic (no matter what some of our peer trade unions promise!) but everyone has their fate in their hands. Generation 2004 is offering individual career coaching for AST colleagues who have not lost fate and are committed to their professional future in this house.

And a final remark. No, we are not against the 40% females’ management target policy of the Commission. And yes, artificial juniorisation in the AST category equally affects male and female colleagues. What we question is the efficiency of this particular measure publicized as element of equal opportunity policy. Is it sufficient (or efficient) in developing the full potential of females in the institution? Fast promotions of female colleagues in the DGs may be sufficient for statistics but until whole categories of staff remain artificially juniorised and are predominantly filled with females, the equal opportunity policy remains just words.

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