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German women Affairs minister says companies ignoring quotas

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Many German companies are ignoring quotas for women in management positions, Family Affairs and Women Minister Franziska Giffey said, as data showed that medium-sized enterprises continued to be dominated by men.

Her remarks was published on Friday in the business daily Handelsblatt for International Women’s Day.

Giffey said that 81 per cent of companies subject to the quota had either provided no information or answered with “zero” to the question how many women were in management positions.

She called for greater pressure to attain the government target of at least 30-per-cent female representation in supervisory positions.

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“That means appropriate sanctions that have more than symbolic character,’’ Giffey said, alleging that many companies were showing little initiative in placing women in executive positions.

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Since the start of 2016, the 100 largest companies listed in Germany on the stock exchange must have 30 per cent women on their supervisory boards.

No target has been set for management boards.

The legislation requires other companies to set their own targets, and it is these companies that Giffey is aiming at, with fines imposed on companies not complying.

“Purely male clubs are no longer fit for the times,’’ she said.

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A survey conducted by accountants Ernst & Young found that only around 17.1 per cent of the members of boards of management were women, up slightly from 16.3 per cent a year previously.

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The EY survey of 1,500 German companies with a staff of between 30 and 2,000 found that men took all the decisions in a third of firms surveyed.

dpa/NAN

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