In the private sector, the percentage of female managers rose from 22 to 30 percent between 2001 and 2010, a German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) report said on Monday.
Just three percent of executive board members of the country's largest 200 countries in 2011 were women.
A significant gender pay gap also remains, with women in managerial positions earning on average 21 percent less than men in similar roles. They also had fewer employees reporting to them – 20 subordinates, as opposed to an average of 33 reporting to male bosses, the study revealed.
Younger women surveyed seem to have an easier time reaching managerial posts than older female colleagues, Der Spiegel magazine said on Monday.
“Whether or not the future generations will succeed in balancing work and career better, and can continue to remain in managerial positions during the family phase of their lives, remains to be seen,” said director of the study, Elke Holst.
German Family Minister Kristina Schröder on Monday criticised an EU target to require companies to have a quota of 40 percent women on their supervisory boards.
Schröder told Monday's Bild newspaper Germany's women were managing fine without the initiative. “This year alone 40 percent of the open positions on the DAX 30 supervisory boards were filled by women,” she said.
She added it would be “absurd” to have the same quotas for all industries – from steel to the media industry.
“Normal working women need flexible hours instead of strict supervisory board quotas,” she told the paper. “This push completely misses the point of the real-life challenges in Germany.”