Berlin (dpa) – The black-red coalition has basically agreed to a binding quota for women on executive boards.
According to the Minister of Justice, Christine Lambrecht (SPD), and the Minister of State, Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU), following an agreement of the working group created by the coalition committee on this issue, a member of the executive boards of Listed and jointly determined companies with more than three members must in the future be a woman. The compromise will be presented to the coalition leaders for a final decision next week.
Subsequently, departmental coordination and the participation of states and federal associations will begin so that the cabinet’s decision can be taken promptly, Lambrecht said. The quota is a key point in the so-called Management Positions Act: this is the first time that there are binding requirements for more women on executive boards.
The Union working group and the SPD also agreed that there should be a supervisory board quota of at least 30 percent and a minimum participation in executive boards for companies with a majority stake from the federal government. A minimum participation of women will also be introduced in public companies such as health insurance and pension and accident insurance institutions, as well as in the Federal Employment Agency.
Lambrecht explained that women contribute to the success of the company with high qualifications and performance. “This is a great success for women in Germany and at the same time offers a great opportunity both for society and for the companies themselves.”
Widmann-Mauz emphasized that the federal government was setting a good example on the way to more women at the top. Graduated legal requirements for executive and supervisory boards would take into account different circumstances in public and private companies. The leading deputy of the Union faction, Nadine Schön (CDU), called the agreement a milestone.
The Union faction had insisted that there should be progress where many women work, in the social and health sectors. Only 14 percent are women on the boards of health, pension and accident insurance. Therefore, in the future, at least one director’s position with two people will be filled by a woman. In the Union it was said that the leader of the parliamentary group Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) had made a particular effort to achieve the agreement.
According to a report recently released on behalf of the federal government, voluntary self-specifications had little effect on the quota of women on executive boards. On behalf of the Ministry of Family Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, the effects of the 2015 law on women in management positions were examined. Consequently, the proportion of women on the executive boards of the companies in question is currently 7.6 per cent.
The Union and the SPD had already agreed to improve the law on women in leadership positions in the coalition agreement. At the beginning of the year, the Minister for Women Franziska Giffey (SPD) and Lambrecht presented the corresponding bill. After differences, the heads of the coalition decided in the summer to set up a working group on the subject.