German Parliament
German Parliament

dpa/GNA – The German parliament was debating a draft law on Thursday that would enshrine a quota to ensure that there are more women on company boards in the country.

Under the legislation, listed companies with more than three executives on their boards must have at least one female boss at that top level.

The rule would be even stricter for companies in which the federal government holds a majority stake. Here, the rule would be to have a woman on the board even if it is made up of just three people.

Companies would also have to provide specific reasons if they plan to have no women on their executive board, the two top management levels below the executive board and the supervisory board, and sanctions for violating reporting requirements are to become stricter.

Family Minister Franziska Giffey told parliament that the proportion of women on executive boards currently stood at just over 10 per cent, which she referred to as shameful by international comparison.

The opposition criticized the draft law, with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) accusing the government of using state interventionism to enforce ideological ideas.

The pro-business FDP said the quota would represent interference in entrepreneurial freedom, and called instead for better conditions for the compatibility of work and family.

Supervisory boards are already subject to a quota in Germany. Companies of a certain size, generally with a workforce of more than 2,000, must have women in 30 per cent of the positions on their supervisory boards.

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