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German joins EU group against women's quota

The Local · 15 Sep 2012, 15:24

Published: 15 Sep 2012 15:24 GMT+02:00

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Saturday’s Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said it had seen the letter written by Justice Minister Sabien Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and Family Minister Kristina Schröder.

“We do not see a legally binding guideline from the European Union for a quota as the right way,” the letter says. Such a quota would, “not be fair either to the various starting positions of the EU member states, nor the industry-specific needs of the companies.”

The letter is addressed to the UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, who has been leading efforts to stop the initiative of EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding to introduce such a law.

They said they expressly welcomed and supported the British initiative to try to stop the quota.

Germany now joins a group of EU countries which had met on September 4 in Brussels to forge a union against the quota. The group includes Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovenia – and now Germany.

Reding’s suggestion would be that publicly traded companies have at least two of every five supervisory board positions filled by members of whichever gender is currently underrepresented by 2020, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said.

The rule would apply to those firms with more than 250 staff and more than €50 million annual turnover. Those firms which fail to manage this would be punished.

Story continues below…

The EU countries which are now against the idea have enough votes to kill the initiative, the paper said.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:30 September 15, 2012 by catjones
A woman's worst enemy in business is other women.
16:33 September 15, 2012 by Neanderthal
welcome to communist republic of germany
17:15 September 15, 2012 by Englishted
Vince Cable, a complete and utter ####.
18:12 September 15, 2012 by royp
This proposal works in Norway where the industry is spending the oil money, in a country where most industry is engineering based it is natural to expect that most managers would come from an engineering background that have progressed through project management into senior management, there is at most maybe 10% of engineers that are female. Then logically there should only be 10% of managers female ?. Women want to do easy soft subjects at college, such as marketing, for equality there needs to be real equality. A by far better plan would be to make sure that girls are getting the same access and training in hard subjects such as mathematics and physics then after a certain time period the natural equality of equal qualification & experience would win out.
22:52 September 15, 2012 by rwk
Yay Germany! I approve of this!
05:06 September 16, 2012 by Wise Up!
Successful companies promote people on their ability, not on their gender.
10:03 September 16, 2012 by zeddriver

I'm not sure where you come from. But to say that we should "make sure" that girls study hard subjects. I know of no civilized country that forbids it's female population from studying any subject they wish. Hard or soft.

Quotas have never really worked. It will always at some point start to engender resentment in a person that was more qualified but was passed over to meet a government mandate. That person will likely give up and not be such a productive worker. Or move to another company. Not to mention the resulting loss of respect of the workers for the person that was promoted by a gender mandate. Rather than on their abilities.
10:41 September 16, 2012 by pjnt

I think the point was to ensure the subjects are more attractive to females, not chaining to the classroom chairs. I studied Mathematics.Com Sci and only 20% were women. My psychology course was 20% men where in the field 80% of their board members are women.

It's a BS proposal that will lead to resentment as you mentioned. I would rather they support pay equality over position equality.
15:18 September 16, 2012 by zeddriver

I'm glad we can agree about the resentment issue. Agreed with your take on pay also.

"making subjects more attractive to females" I certainly would give women far more credit than that. Science is science. Ohms law will be the same even if one was to sugar coat it and put pretty pink unicorns into the electronics theory text books. I think it would be more appropriate if parents, T.V shows, And schools in general. Would encourage girls to try out a science subject. Rather than always assume that the girls in school are interested in Art, Dance, Drama, Or home economics.
07:51 September 17, 2012 by pjnt

My more female friendly approach didn't include shiny stickers either. Your approach is correct imo.
08:49 September 17, 2012 by antymat
What this law is saying is: women are not that bad they couldn't get the job, and it is just men stopping them.

But if you start thinking about it, you might notice that the sheer need to say that makes the whole meaning quite the opposite - the law makers just believe women to be not good enough. Shame on them.
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