Big majority in favor of gender quota for execs

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Big majority in favor of gender quota for execs
photo: DPA

A new poll has found that 70 percent of Germans are in favor of a mandatory quota for women in executive positions at German companies. Even a majority of men have signed on to the idea.


The poll, carried out for Germany's federal family ministry and published in Sunday's edition of the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, found that 79 percent of women and 62 percent of men feel legal instruments should be put in place to ensure more women are represented in German corporate boardrooms.

In addition, 95 percent of women and 88 percent of men said that country had enough talented women to fill senior management positions.

Despite the opposition expressed by Chancellor Angela Merkel to a legal quota, Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen told Der Spiegel magazine that she will continue to fight to put a binding quota in place for the management and supervisory boards of German DAX companies.

"Top management at German firms is still a closed shop," she said in an interview with the magazine. "Often they just switch the same men between the two boards."

According to her, this back and forth keeps women shut out of executive positions.

"I wouldn't call a half-percentage-point increase in ten years in the number of women at the top exactly revolutionary," she added.

Von der Leyen would like to see a binding gender quota requiring boards to be 30 percent female in place by 2018. Merkel has said on several occasions she would not support such a policy.



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