We are hiring a Secretary General!


The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) (Lobby Europeen des Femmes (LEF)) brings together the women’s movement in Europe to influence the general public and European Institutions in support of women’s human rights and equality between women and men.

We are the largest European umbrella network of women’s associations representing a total of more than 2000 organisations in 27 EU Member States, four Candidate Countries, one former EU Member State and one European Free Trade Association country, as well as 17 Europe-wide organisations representing the diversity of women and girls in Europe.

EWL envisions a society in which women’s contribution to all aspects of life is recognized, rewarded, and celebrated - in leadership, in care and in production; all women have self-confidence, freedom of choice, and freedom from violence and exploitation; and no woman or girl is left behind. Read our Strategic framework here.

The EWL is seeking to recruit a full-time Secretary General to ensure the full operational and strategic management and leadership of the organisation. The specific tasks, as described below, will be carried out in the EWL Secretariat in Brussels.

Please find the full application pack here.

Purpose: Strategic management and leadership of the EWL including the Secretariat
Job Title: Secretary General
Reports to: EWL President and Executive Committee
Location: EWL Secretariat, Brussels
Salary Range: €6300-€7100 gross per month depending on experience and expertise
Benefits package: lunch vouchers, public transportation reimbursement, 13th month salary, hospitalisation and pension insurance after 6 months of employment, and 32 days paid holidays in addition to public holidays
Starting date: 1 March 2024

The EWL offers an indefinite Belgian employment contract. Applicants must be legally entitled to live and work in Belgium.

Job Description

The EWL General Secretary plays a key role in relation to developing the EWL as a membership-based organisation and leading the team that supports and services the EWL. The General Secretary works closely with the Executive Committee, Board of Administration, and all staff. S/he organises and attends General Assembly, Board, Executive and staff meetings.

Key Work Areas.

All tasks are to be implemented based on decisions adopted by the governing bodies of EWL.

1. To direct the strategic and policy management of EWL:

  • To develop the organisation and to maintain and improve policy, administrative and financial procedures;
  • To develop, coordinate, and monitor the implementation of strategic and operational plans for EWL;
  • To monitor the policy and political framework for EWL, communicating developments to governing bodies and membership of EWL;
  • To ensure compliance with EWL statutes and bylaws and suggest amendments and improvements where necessary;
  • To organise governing bodies’ meetings and provide the necessary support by preparing the agendas and briefings to the Executive Committee, Board of Administration and Staff.

2. To develop and implement personnel policy:

  • To ensure the recruitment and retention of skilled staff for all areas of the organisation’s work;
  • To develop and ensure implementation of an effective staff support and supervision system;
  • To develop and implement staff objectives and an appraisal system linked to strategic and operational plans of EWL;
  • To ensure that a staff training and development programme is in place;
  • To ensure compliance with all legal requirements for the wellbeing of staff and members and to ensure health and safety compliance in EWL;
  • To be responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of EWL equal opportunities policy;
  • To be responsible for EWL’s complaints procedure;
  • Ensure implementation of a staff policy that promotes teamwork and a respectful and efficient working environment.

3. To manage the external relations of EWL:

  • To actively represent the interests of EWL together with the President to the representatives of the European Commission, the members of the European Parliament, the European Council and other relevant European and International bodies;
  • To ensure effective partnerships and strategic alliances with other women’s NGOs, both European and global, and with other relevant European NGOs;
  • To develop and implement a communications strategy for EWL;
  • To ensure the appropriate representation of EWL to external bodies.

4. To manage the financial planning and control of EWL operations:

  • To lead, develop and implement the fundraising strategy in collaboration with the Executive Committee;
  • To prepare annual budget submissions, progress reports and accounts for the European Commission;
  • To maximise use of financial resources and to control operational costs;
  • To submit monthly financial statements to EWL Treasurer and to submit financial statements to EWL E Administration Boards and to the General Assembly;
  • To ensure compliance with financing contracts.

5. To be accountable to EWL governing bodies for all the activities and work of EWL Secretariat.

6. To nurture and promote a culture of respect and ‘living the feminist values of EWL’ throughout the organisation, both internally and externally.

Skills and Attributes

The successful candidate will demonstrate a majority of the following skills and attributes:

  • Experience of working with NGOs/Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and grassroots organisations (ideally in the field of gender equality, women’s and human rights) with a collaborative approach to partnerships;
  • The ability to develop and lead a diverse team of experienced colleagues in a way that builds on individual strengths, supports professional development, in pursuit of the common, agreed, purpose;
  • Nurtures an inclusive and cohesive organisation team, including collaboration between teams, seeking perspectives and ideas from all team members;
  • Knowledge and experience of management and working in a membership based organisation with the ability to work collectively in various team settings;
  • Engaged and able to do ‘hands-on’ work with the team to achieve collective goals and priorities;
  • Able to delegate authority and accountability to deliver on strategic objectives;
  • Models appropriate life/work balance and commitment to individual and collective wellbeing;
  • Experience in working with governing bodies;
  • Ability to manage situations of crisis with clear assessment of risks and needs, and develop appropriate responses;
  • An understanding of how political actors and institutions operate as a basis for steering an organisation’s ability to have a political impact;
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, with clarity of thought and ability to connect with a wide range of audiences – from membership activists to high-level officials;
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills, with experience in representing an organisation in a variety of settings, including with high-level officials, understanding agendas and motivations among stakeholders;
  • Excellent knowledge of and alignment with EWL positions;
  • Excellent knowledge of the European Union and the European institutions, its structures and functions;
  • Knowledge of European and international agreements and treaties on women’s rights;
  • Knowledge/ability to learn to read, understand and comment on financial statements, the EU programmes framework, to ensure a strong resource-base for the organisation;
  • Negotiation skills and finding solutions in conflictual situations;
  • Fluency in English and French (the official languages of EWL);
  • Knowledge of Belgian labour laws is an asset.

How to Apply

Please include the following documents in your application:

Please send your application to addressed to the President with the subject line ‘Application – Secretary General’ by 17h00 CEST, 13 October 2023.

Please note that applications that do not include all three elements will not be considered.

Interviews for shortlisted applicants will be held in Brussels on 9 and 10 November 2023. We regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Candidates should hold a valid work permit for Belgium. The EWL is not in a position to cover travel costs for the interview.

The EWL is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to equal opportunities irrespective of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief, race or ethnicity, age or disability.

Please find the full application pack here.

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