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More women in management positions: the EU’s gender share on supervisory boards is coming

More women in management positions: the EU’s gender share on supervisory boards is coming

Status: 03/14/2022 3:13 PM

In the European Union, the path is clear to link gender quotas for management positions in listed companies. However, there is no need for implementation in Germany, where there is already a quota system.

EU countries want gender quotas in large publicly traded companies. Accordingly, listed companies must take measures to allocate 40 percent of supervisory board positions or 33 percent of board and board positions to underrepresented gender. The plan provides for a deadline of the end of 2027. In order for the EU regulation to enter into force, negotiations with the European Parliament still have to reach agreement on the specific structure.

Yet, on average, there are far more men on executive and supervisory boards than there are women. If the number of women in managerial positions is greater than the number of men, the quota also applies to men. By agreement, the EU countries follow a proposal made by the EU Commission in 2012.

Federal Family Minister Anne Spiegel (the Green Party) welcomed the outcome. “We are reaching an important milestone and putting more women at the forefront,” she said. “Because we see clearly: the binding quotas are working.”

No need to work in Germany

“Member states that have already taken equally effective measures are exempt from the regulations,” the report said. This means that there is no further need for implementation in Germany. Because since 2015, there has already been a female share on supervisory boards in Germany – 30 percent for large companies in particular. In addition, the former grand coalition between the Union and the Social Democrats agreed on a quota for board members shortly before last year’s summer recess.

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The EU Commission tried to introduce binding rules ten years ago. Under then EU Justice Commissioner Vivian Reding, there was a similar initiative, which was rejected by the federal government under then-Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). At that time, only 15.6 percent of supervisory board members in Germany were women. A sufficient majority was not achieved among the EU countries.