In Germany, women executives take board seats by law

Voluntary measures failed, so laws are forcing through equality in the boardroom.

The workplace has become a more even ground for female workers in the last century, but Germany wants to see more women in high business positions -- and is happy to implement laws to make this happen.

According to The Globe and Mail, after introducing voluntary boardroom targets of 40 percent female executive seats in 2001, most blue-chip companies operating in the country have failed to meet this target. The coalition government has spent several weeks discussing the issue -- the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) pushing for 40 percent female targets from 2021 and the conservatives resisting fixed percentages -- but both sides have had to make concessions. 

The result is a 30 percent female appointment requirement to open board seats by 2016.

Companies that cannot meet this target, by law, will have to leave those seats empty until women are found to fill them.

"This is an important signal to improve the career chances for women and for greater equality in the labour market," said Manuela Schwesig, leader of the talks for the SPD told the publication.

According to German media outlets, roughly 12 percent of seats are held by women in corporate boardrooms. In 2012, the European Commission proposed requiring companies with more than 250 employees and operating in European countries to have 40 percent of their boardroom seats filled by women by 2020. While Germany has set its own rules, the country resisted the EC's proposals, arguing that this type of legislation should be controlled nationally.

Via: The Globe and Mail

Image credit: Flickr

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