Germany backs quota for female non-executives

City A.M. Reporter
CHANCELLOR Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed yesterday to introduce legislation requiring German companies to allot 30 per cent of their non-executive board seats to women from 2016.

Negotiators from the two sides are in talks to form a coalition government. They said the agreement would involve listed companies and those with a works council.

Three weeks of coalition talks have made modest progress. Both sides are making concessions but the conservatives want their victory in September’s election reflected in the deal. Germany introduced voluntary targets for women in top management positions in 2001, but little changed. In 2011 blue-chip companies agreed to try to boost women on boards, again through voluntary targets.

The centre-left SPD had pushed for 40 per cent women on boards in stages from 2021. The conservatives had resisted fixed targets.

The European Parliament will hold a plenary vote on EU-wide quotas for women on boards – proposed at 40 per cent – tomorrow, moving the law further through the EU legislative process.