As part of the Erasmus+ adult education programme, the European CAPSE project – Collective Action for Parity in the Social Economy – aims to achieve greater parity at the top of the management bodies of the social economy (SE) in Europe.

The CAPSE project runs from October 2023 to November 2025 and aims to raise awareness and provide support to SSE federations on gender issues at the level of their governance (boards of directors, offices, management committee).

Specifically, the project aims to :


Take stock of the situation and identify the specific needs and obstacles of organisations in terms of women's access to positions of responsibility.


Highlight inspiring initiatives and good practices

Raise awareness

Make SSE networks and federations aware of the gender inequalities in their management bodies

Support and provide tools

Produce educational contents and run training courses for SSE managers, support the implementation of an internal continuous improvement approach (roadmap).

Context and ambition of the project

SSE enterprises (associations, cooperatives, mutual societies, foundations, social business) work to develop a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable society. In Europe, the 2.8 million SSE enterprises and organisations employ 13.6 million people and more than 82.8 million volunteers (European Economic and Social Council / CIRIEC, 2015).

Gender equality is at the heart of the values promoted by SSE companies, which must set an example in this area. Despite the high proportion of women in these jobs (68% in France, for example), linked to the SSE’s focus on care professions where women are over-represented, the SSE still suffers from significant gender inequalities.

The glass ceiling and job segregation mechanisms are as prevalent in the SSE as they are in the rest of the private sector, and working conditions are more unfavourable to women than to men (pay gap, proportion of part-time work, etc.). Women’s access to positions of responsibility in governance bodies (boards of directors, executive boards, management committees) needs to be strengthened in the SSE.

The CAPSE project therefore aims to strengthen the inclusion of women in order to move towards greater equality in the governance bodies of SSE companies and networks. It is based on the principle that SSE leaders must reflect the company, its employees, beneficiaries and customers.

As part of the CAPSE project, the consortium partners will raise awareness of gender equality among the leaders of SSE organisations (volunteers and management) and support them in implementing a roadmap to strengthen the role of women in their companies and organisations. The project therefore aims to “Create

pathways for further training, improve accessibility and increase participation in adult education” on the subject of gender equality, and more specifically in governance bodies.

Expected results

The CAPSE project aspire to raise awareness of gender equality issues among 150 leaders (administrators, directors) from the governance bodies of French, Belgian and Spanish SSE federations. The project will produce resources and tools (methodological guide) and recommendations for advancing the issue of parity in the SSE, in order to strengthen the values and practices of the SSE.


This project is supported by a consortium of 5 partners, including


On 6 and 7 December 2023, the partners in the Erasmus+ CAPSE project met in Paris to launch the partnership dynamic and work on the modules and phasing of the project