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German firms 'still failing to promote women'

The Local · 18 Jan 2012, 14:28

Published: 18 Jan 2012 14:28 GMT+01:00

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A debate last year on whether to introduce women quotas in management and a few high-profile appointments would seem to have failed to change the culture of male-domination on the top floors of German business, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) said on Wednesday.

The percentage of woman on the boards of Germany’s top 30 companies rose from 1.5 percent to 3.7 percent over the past year, the DIW study showed.

Yet women are even more difficult to find on the board when the top 200 companies are considered, with the share of those with only men on the board rising dramatically from 8.8 percent in 2010 to 23.6 percent today.

Although more than 11 percent of board members in the top 200 firms are women, of these more than two thirds represent workers rather than management, the study showed.

German companies may do well to examine their managers – another study released on Wednesday showed that European companies with women on the board perform better than those comprising just of men.

The study, by business consultancy Ernst & Young showed that, statistically, companies who give some of their top managerial spots to women have experienced an increase in turnover, sales and market value between 2005 and 2010.

Those firms with only men at the helm performed below average and experienced a slower rate of growth over the period examined.

Story continues below…

The Local/DPA

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:37 January 19, 2012 by strahlungsamt
So, Germany has the strongest economy in Europe and the least number of women managers.

Coincidence? I think not.
12:50 January 19, 2012 by dxlman
I doubt the figures are presented correctly, anyone can provide statistically good figures for anything if they choose to.

Quotas are not needed, whether it be for gender or race.

And as strahlungsamt has said, The German economy is the strongest in Europe with the least number of women at the helm. So are these European companies, mentioned in the report, from other countries, I wonder?
14:37 January 19, 2012 by Al uk
Good point in post 1. So it seems promotion in Germany is made on merit and not by PC quota.
16:25 January 19, 2012 by storymann
Hiring and promotions should not be about gender but about qualifications, work ethic and experience.
19:41 January 21, 2012 by ChrisRea
Women make up half of the population and a large amount of the workforce in Germany but they are not equally represented in managerial boards. How can this be? How come the potential of qualified female professionals goes unused? As the article states and as you can read in all literature on this subject, mixed management improves the output of a company (and, by the way, the climate in a company). Germany cannot afford to shun their women out of management boards if it wants to defend its place as one of the strongest economies in the world. Unfortunately, the path of making a career is still shaped by male standards, power structures and prejudices. It is thus important that the quota be introduced and more women are part of the boards.

The good news (if we can say so), is that, with a score of 83.9 out of 100, Germany is in the Top 5 European countries with regard to laws, regulations, practices and attitudes towards women workers and entrepreneurs (according to the EIU index). Spain (place 21 with 70.5), Greece (place 23 with 69.4) and Italy (place 25 with 68.3) are towards the bottom of the top. Could there be a connection between economical performance and better use of women's profession-related talents?
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