In a historic step towards equality in Germany, the coalition government will introduce a mandatory quota for the number of women that work as senior management in the country’s listed companies.
The deal was agreed between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their partner the Social Democrats. According to the agreement, management boards with more than three members must include at least one woman. This means reversing the voluntary systems that critics argue has failed to achieve the much-needed shift towards gender equality.
Germany’s federal minister for women Franziska Giffey said that this is a historic breakthrough, as Germany is putting an end to women-free boardrooms in large companies. She believes the European country is setting an example for a sustainable and modern society, and they’re taking all the country’s potential so that the best in mixed teams can be more successful.
“Because nothing is done voluntarily and we need guidelines to move forward.” – she added.
According to a recent research, the representation of management in German companies was lagging when compared to its peers in rival major economies. As reported, women make up 12.8 percent of the management boards of the 30 largest German companies listed on the blue-chip Dax index. In comparison, the figure is 28.6 percent in the US, 24.5 percent in the UK, and 22.2 percent in France.
Additionally, the research showed that Dax companies were losing women in senior positions, and there has been a rise in the number of Dax companies without a single woman on the board.
Forcing large companies to act will likely anger the giants in German business, as they’ve been already arguing that the move is an unjustified interference in private enterprise.
The deal also includes a minimum quota of 30 percent of women on supervisory boards for companies where the government holds a majority shareholding.