Equal opportunities and the distribution of power – what is the reality in European boardrooms today? In in-depth interviews, we look at the careers of three top female managers from Germany, France and Spain.

Do women need a gender quota to achieve greater professional success? In Germany, legislation was passed in 2015 requiring 30% of top management positions to be filled by women. In France, a 40% quota has been legal reality since 2011 with fines of up to € 90,000 imposed for non-compliance. In the quota-resistant country of Spain, on the other hand, career women are still something of a rarity. Even now, there is no political party that would have introduced quota legislation. Quality, it is claimed, is what counts – not quotas. Clichés are rife: women lack ambition and drive and as a result fail to break through the notorious glass ceiling to reach the male-dominated executive floors. Three senior-level managers Anka Wittenberg, Senior Vice President of SAP Germany, Fanny Letier, Executive Director of investment bank Bpi France and Maria Luisa de Contes, Secretary General and General Counsel of Renault Spain, offer us an in-depth insight into their day-to-day life, both private and professional, and speak candidly about European society's position today as regards equal opportunities and gender-based discrimination.