Despite all attempts of the previous German government to increase the quota of women in senior positions, e.g. directorships or members of supervisory boards, the percentage remains consistently low. For this reason, the new government has undertaken in the coalition agreement to introduce a gender quota of at least 30 percent for supervisory boards of companies that are publically-listed or subject to employees’ representation on supervisory boards (voll mitbestimmungspflichtige Unternehmen). The statutory quota will apply to vacant positions on supervisory boards from 2016.

The preparation of the draft bill to introduce a statutory quota for women’s representation in supervisory boards is one of the most urgent projects for the newly appointed German Minister of Justice, Heiko Maas. Mr Maas plans to finalise the draft bill together with the Minister for Family Affairs by the end of March at the latest. Whilst he considers himself to be a “setback in the meaning of the quota”, he stressed that the proposed law is required to allow highly qualified women to enter the “boy’s network” in the upper ranks of German companies. We shall follow the development and realisation of the Minister’s plans with much interest…

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