Germany’s Federal Cabinet approved Wednesday a draft law that would see a quota introduced for the number of women on the executive boards of Germany’s largest companies.
The law would require all stock exchange-listed companies with an executive board of three or more members to have at least one woman on that board. The new requirement would apply to over 70 companies, 31 of which currently have no women on their management boards.
The law, drafted jointly by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth aims to amend and supplement Germany’s existing law on the issue, the Act on Equal Participation of Women and Men regarding Leadership Positions within the Sectors of Private Economy and Public Service. That 2015 law introduced a requirement that supervisory boards be at least 30 percent female and is reported to have “led to a tangible increase in the average percentage of seats of supervisory boards held by women.” However, the proportion of women on executive boards has remained low.
Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Franziska Giffey said that the new law would be “a milestone for women” and would put an end to women-free boardrooms in Germany’s largest companies. She also stated that this goal was in the interests of a future-oriented and modern society.
The draft law must now be passed by the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.