• Germany's news in English

Merkel rules out quota for women execs

The Local · 3 Feb 2011, 10:40

Published: 03 Feb 2011 10:40 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Through her spokesman Steffen Seibert, Merkel said there would be “no legally obligatory quota,” because such a regulation was unenforceable. However she put the business community on notice that it must work harder to raise the number of women in top jobs.

A recent survey by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), found that just 2.2 percent of leadership positions at Germany's top 100 companies are women - only 11 out of 490.

Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party had been locked in a debate on the matter this week after Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Family and Social Affairs Minister Kristina Schröder locked horns publicly on the issue of a mandatory quota.

Von der Leyen favours a mandatory quota of 30 percent women on company boards and in executive positions. Schröder said she was also in favour of a quota but insisted it must be voluntary.

The CDU’s coalition partners, their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union and the pro-business Free Democratic Party, both opposed mandatory quotas.

German businesses agreed 10 years ago to voluntarily increase the number of women in executive positions. The success had been “modest, to put it mildly,” Seibert said, acknowledging progress had been “disappointing.”

“Germany needs significantly more women in leadership positions,” he said.

There was agreement on that within the centre-right coalition, though there were “different opinions” about how to achieve it.

Merkel wants to give business a second chance to work towards raising the number of women in executive jobs without forcing them through regulation.

Story continues below…

However, there would have to be progress within a “manageable time frame,” Seibert said.

Results must not be postponed “indefinitely” and the government would not sit back while the business community took another 10 years, he said.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:13 February 3, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
It's a noble idea to try to give women more opportunity in management... I fully support that. But not like this. It fosters corporate incompetence, because women would get hired not based on qualification but to fulfill some stupid quota. There are already enough incompetent men running companies, no need to exacerbate the problem...
12:33 February 3, 2011 by tallady
Studies in the USA suggest that women are perceived as less capable than men, not so much about gender,more about experience and what they can bring to the table.Also women are 3 times more likely to leave a job than a man,resulting in fewer women at mid level management positions. It is doubtful that quotas would address this disparity, experience should be the benchmark ,not gender.
12:46 February 3, 2011 by twisted
While I do not support quotes in general, it is one way to help break the glass ceiling. The downside of quotes is that people (in this case women) who are give a job are often, rightly or wrongly, perceived as having gained the position only because of the quote, not because they possess the necessary skills or intelligence or whatever. The issue of child birth and rearing is another factor that works against women, but unfortunately that is purely a fact of life and cannot be changed. The truth of the matter is that with the exception of pure physical strength, women can do anything that men can do given the right schooling, training, skills, intelligence, etc.

Soooo pass quotes for a 25 year period and then the issue will disappear…women will have proven that they are just a capable as men at the top. CRASH….there goes the glass ceiling.
13:38 February 3, 2011 by PawD
Germany should learn from India... this quota system is a back dated method of providing equal opportunity... this simply doesn't work... what's wrong with women fighting it out with men on an equal footing?
14:38 February 3, 2011 by catjones
The comments reflect the same canards used against all social progress.
15:05 February 3, 2011 by frankiep
Codifiying discrimination based on factors such as genetic makeup or number of chromosomes is NOT social progress. Unless of course by social progress you mean fostering a culture of suspicion and resentment.

Bravo to Merkel for ruling out government enforced discriminationatory quotas at the workplace.
15:25 February 3, 2011 by Willissteel
Women rights will continue to exist as long as democracy exists. The feminists must be careful what they're asking for, sometimes you can really get what you want, but it's always come with a price. If they want 50-50 on everything in society then I say let them be, but when the wars came they must go to fronts and die like rest of the men. They have to go to military and train as hard as the men do, no more no less. They can not pick and choose what they like and leave the rest to the men. I have nothing agaist women and I would like to see this issue progress naturally without feminists abusing it. If you want to be treated like a man you must take it like one!!!
21:41 February 3, 2011 by catjones
2.2 percent of leadership positions at Germany's top 100 companies and this is not discrimination? Government steps in to correct society's wrongs and Merkel is wrong.
Today's headlines
Anger as Berlin scraps 'Armenia genocide' concert in Turkey
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd