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Germany moves to close the gender gap by requiring companies to put women on executive boards

On Friday, the German coalition government agreed to a new rule that companies with more than three board members must ensure one of those members is a woman. The coalition government has agreed to a mandatory quota for women on the boards of listed companies in what’s being hailed as a landmark moment for Europe’s biggest economy making moves to closing Germany’s gender gap according to African Business Insider.

Listed companies with management boards of more than three executives must appoint at least one woman to the C-suite, according to a statement Friday by Germany’s ministry for family affairs, senior citizens, women and youth.

A final decision on the new measure is expected next week.”We are putting an end to women-free boardrooms at large companies,” said Franziska Giffey, the minister for women and families, who described the decision as a “historic breakthrough.

“Janina Kugel, the former chief human resources officer at Siemens (SIEGY), was among several prominent women leaders and campaigners in Germany who welcomed the news. Jutta Allmendinger, president of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, said the decision was “historic.”

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Germany lags several major economies when it comes to the proportion of senior executive positions held by women. According to the Swedish-German Allbright Foundation, a nonprofit, women make up just 12.8% of the management boards of Germany’s 30 largest listed companies.

By comparison to Germany’s gender gap, women have been hired for 28.6% of the senior leadership roles at leading companies in the United States, 24.9% in Sweden, 24.5% in Britain and 22.2% in France.

None of Germany’s biggest companies are led by women, according to the All bright Foundation. And it appears the country is going backwards when it comes to gender diversity: The number of women on the management boards of companies listed on the blue-chip DAX 30 (DAX) index fell to 23 at the start of September from 29 a year earlier.

Source: CNN Business