FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BERLIN – For the 15 years of his election to the chancellery, which are celebrated today, Angela Merkel made herself a gift. After months of very difficult negotiations, the Grosse Koalition has reached an agreement on mandatory gender quotas on the boards of directors of German companies. a historical turning point, destined to change the face of Rhine capitalism, which has always been dominated by men.
The details of the new law are still to be specified, but the core of the agreement is already well defined: in the BoDs of private companies listed on the Stock Exchange with more than three members, there must be at least one woman in the future. While in all organizations and companies with public participation, the presence of women in the control bodies (the so-called Supervisory Board) must be at least 30% and there will be a mandatory gender quota, yet to be defined, also in the Boards of Directors. The mandatory presence of women in the operational top management will also be introduced in public law companies such as mutual funds, federal agencies and savings banks, that is the backbone of the German system.
The compromise was announced by the Minister of Justice, Christine Lambrecht, and by the head of the Family, Franziska Giffey, both Social Democrats, the result of a work begun last January. The initial project was more ambitious and proposed a minimum of two women on the board of directors of private companies, but it had clashed with the resistance of a part of the CDU-CSU. At the beginning of the summer, the initiative seemed to be on a dead end.
The Chancellor’s intervention made a difference. Over the years, Merkel had always been skeptical of gender quotas imposed from above. And to pay the price, in 2013, it was the then Minister of Labor, Ursula von der Leyen, who had proposed to introduce them, but had been forced to take them back. Then, last July in the Bundestag, during the hour of questions to the government, the chancellor made public her sympathy for the proposal of Lambrecht and Giffey: It makes no sense that there are still German companies listed on the stock exchange where there is not a single woman on the board of directors.
was the turning point. Even if it took almost four months before the ad hoc working group, created in the majority, came to an agreement. Strengthened by Merkel’s support, Minister Giffey set fire and flames, the sources say, to find support within the CDU-CSU. At the beginning of the month, even the powerful premier of Bavaria, Markus Sder, said he was in favor of gender quotas. M.the mobilization of some female celebrities, including actress Maria Frtwangler, writer Nora Bossong and former footballer Katja Kraus, who organized an action in Berlin in October. a big hit for German women and at the same time it offers a great opportunity to society and to businesses themselves, said Minister Lambrecht.
November 21, 2020 (change November 21, 2020 | 23:02)
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