Banking company promotes diversity – WELT

Cecilia Ronan is convinced that her father had a decisive influence on her successful career. The Irishwoman is the CEO of Citibank Europe, which is also responsible for the bank’s business in Ireland. And as the first woman ever in this position. “I am the oldest of eight children and have six brothers. And my father always encouraged me that I can achieve just as much as the boys. “

With Citi, she found an employer who has been ticking just like her father for years. And that can be seen in the management floor – for example in Silvia Carpitella. From the start, she had the feeling that the bank would value equality and diversity, she says today, after having worked for Citi for three decades. She is now the CFO of Citibank Europe. “This has increased continuously over the years, more communication, more attention, underpinned by a comprehensive strategy.”

Cecilia Ronan, CEO of Citibank Europe Plc

Cecilia Ronan, CEO of Citibank Europe Plc

Source: Citigroup

How does the “System Citi” work? “With intent,” says Kristine Braden about the bank’s equal rights strategy. And that works with success, says the American, who as the so-called Europe Cluster Head is responsible for business in 22 European countries.

As recently as 2010, the bank had six women as country managers, now there are 18. “We realized that we had to build a pipeline to prepare women to take on these roles. So that when the opportunity arises, they are ready and successful. “

A woman at the top of the board

The bank will soon be able to show the most visible success of this strategy at the very top – at its own top: From February 2021, the bank will be led by a CEO with Jane Fraser. She will be the first ever at one of the leading addresses on Wall Street and one of the very few CEOs in the international financial scene.

In the coming year, 36 percent of all jobs from the position of Assistant Vice Presidents upwards in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are to be filled by women. The bank has already reached its goal by less than a percentage point. Even in countries that are not pioneers in terms of equality, the country organizations are led by women – in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria or Uganda.

“In Europe, Citi is clearly one of the banks with the most women in exciting management positions,” confirms Angela Hornberg, founder of AHC Capital, a personnel consultancy with a focus on executives.

Women in the banking industry have not had an easy time of it to this day. Data from the McKinsey management consultancy show that men and women are equal when they start their careers, but even at the level of Vice Presidents, the proportion of women has shrunk to 33 percent. In the boardroom it is then only 26 percent.

One trigger was the financial crisis

But why does it work better at Citi? Cecilia Ronan sees a trigger in the financial crisis of all things. “In the time that followed, one question kept coming up: Would we have acted differently as an organization if we had had more different perspectives around the table? That applies to the entire industry, it needed such a trigger. ”In addition, external pressure supported the discussion, says Silvia Carpitella, referring to legislative initiatives on women’s quotas in a number of European countries.

Equal rights with intent: Kristine Braden, Europe Cluster Head of Citigroup

Kristine Braden, Europe Cluster Head der Citigroup

Source: Citigroup

Because the bank is already active around the globe, diversity has long been a central feature, adds Braden. “In my early days in the Hong Kong trading room, there was a Chinese woman next to me, a French man behind me, another American woman and then a Korean woman next to me. We live diversity at the bank – every day and in all its forms. “

With a view to equality, the strategy has become even more concrete today: The credo is to hire more women, promote them and then keep them in the company. They don’t pay lip service, emphasizes Ronan. “This is integrated into our scorecards, our performance appraisal, the hiring process and also in the specifications that we make to service providers or recruitment consultants.” For applications and recruitment, for example, both genders must be represented for candidates as well as in the Citi selection committees.

For more than two decades, the “Citi Women” network has therefore also supported exchange within the individual country organizations and beyond. The members set goals for the individual markets themselves. After all, the needs in the more than 100 national companies are very different, says Braden.

Often, however, regional impulses would ultimately result in larger initiatives that would be extended to the entire group. A new network has recently been added that deals with the compatibility of family and work. At the top is Braden himself.

Germany does poorly in Europe

During her time as Citi country manager in Switzerland, she realized how difficult a career is for working mothers – not least because students in the Swiss Confederation come home for lunch. Ronan, on the other hand, was surprised at how many female bank managers she met on her first business trip to Poland ten years ago. “The political history of the country is responsible for this, they explained to me. By definition, we were all the same, ”she reports today.

Germany does not do very well in this cultural comparison within Europe. At least that is the experience of HR consultant Angela Hornberg. “It is not for nothing that women in Germany have made careers in the financial sector almost exclusively at foreign institutes. That is changing, but only very slowly, ”she sums up.

The Citi managers are more cautious about this: “At my first meetings in Germany, I was regularly congratulated on my role as a woman,” recalls Carpitella with a laugh. That was nice, but in her previous stations her leadership role was treated much more naturally, regardless of her gender.

Trigger for social change

Braden compares her experiences with the region in which she worked before moving to Europe. “Compared to Asia, where diversity is very important in terms of culture and gender, it feels different in Europe. Citi has made significant strides on the continent. But the industry as a whole in countries like Switzerland and Germany gives the impression of lagging behind in terms of diversity. “

In order to change that, all three emphasize the role of role models: “What you cannot see cannot be emulated,” says Ronan. It is the responsibility of women leaders to stand by the next generation. “I do this for my daughter too. I want her to see that society is changing, opening up. And that you can achieve anything if you are good. “

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Quota of women on board members: those who are not willing to change (neue-deutschland.de)

Photo: imago images / IPON

From the economic wing of the Union, an understanding of the world sounds like from the last century: One should not sacrifice fundamental positions to a “fickle zeitgeist”. So do women – aka the “fickle beings” – have no place in company boards in 2020? If it were up to the economic wing of the CDU / CSU and the AfD, probably not.

The quota for women planned by the coalition is anything but a savior of equality. The regulation will affect around 70 German companies – and a similarly small number of women. It is clear that such a quota does not bring us any closer to the abolition of social hierarchies. This becomes particularly clear when the draft is promoted with the argument of economic development, such as by SPD parliamentary deputy Katja Mast. Feminist demands should not be limited to the success of less well-educated, often white women – based on the exploitation of women from the global south.

Nevertheless, the initiative could have a »signal effect« for impetus for gender equality policy. And if only that, that many in the oh so enlightened federal politics absolutely want to prevent women in decisive positions. Open your eyes to the election of the Federal Chancellor.

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Women’s quota: Kramp-Karrenbauer celebrates “breakthrough” policy

The outgoing CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed the agreement reached after tough negotiations in the coalition for stricter guidelines for female bosses in the economy. “The fact that the quota for women is finally coming to board members in larger companies is a breakthrough and an important step on the way to equality and equal opportunities in Germany,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer Süddeutsche Zeitung. The compromise was “only a first step, but one with an important signal effect,” she said. “I am convinced that companies will benefit from a more diverse management team.”

The coalition working group on the draft law for more women in top positions (FüPoG2) finally agreed on an eight-point plan on Friday evening. According to this, board members in listed companies with equal co-determination and with more than three members must appoint at least one woman. Existing board members will, however, receive grandfathering. Management boards, supervisory boards and the two management levels below may no longer be assigned a gender without justification – otherwise there is a risk of fines. Federal companies must have at least 30 percent of the opposite sex on the supervisory board. Directors with more than two members must appoint a woman. A minimum participation of one man and one woman will be introduced on boards and management boards of health insurance companies, the Federal Employment Agency as well as pension and accident insurances.

Esken praises Giffeys and Lambrecht’s “tenacity”

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s reference to the mixed management teams can also be understood as a criticism of their potential successors. Three party friends are running for office, none of them has yet a wife by their side. Friedrich Merz, a self-declared economic expert, has so far rejected a quota in the economy, and is also skeptical within the party. Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen, on the other hand, are open to the considerations.

The SPD had fought for binding regulations for years. Co-party leader Saskia Esken praised the fact that the goal of fair participation of women in leadership positions had “finally come a lot closer”. The “tenacity” of the ministers Franziska Giffey and Christine Lambrecht – they had submitted the draft law – and of Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, it is mainly thanks to “that supervisory boards as a whole and board members with more than two members without women finally a” no go ” will be”. Esken expects “that the law can now be introduced into parliament, discussed and passed without further delay.”

Sociology professor Jutta Allmendinger warned to be satisfied with what has been achieved. “We have to address further regulations that cause structural discrimination against women,” said the president of the Berlin Science Center of the SZ. “It’s also about more diversity in governing bodies, regardless of the sectors. The gender issue is only one important dimension,” she said. “Work will continue next week.”

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Odds man Söder – politics – SZ.de

And again the Chancellor has the Bavarian Prime Minister by her side – but this time it’s not about Corona, but about women. In the summer, the reluctant Angela Merkel burst her collar in the Bundestag when it came to bosses. It is “absolutely inadequate” that some listed companies still do not have a woman on the board.

That was a clear political announcement by the Chancellor, but her momentum was not enough to pass a prepared law for more women in leadership positions in the coalition. The Union was against it.

But now another collar has burst within the Union, namely that of CSU boss Markus Söder. And because Söder still has some plans in his political life, one can assume that he will have chosen his words with caution.

“I am for the women’s quota,” says Markus Söder

On Tuesday evening, Söder demanded that there had to be a political jolt – in order to enforce a quota for women on boards of Dax companies. With him on the front line: “I am for the women’s quota,” said Söder at a digital event for the weekly newspaper The time. And further: “By the way, I am also in favor of the fact that we have to give a push to the laws that are now being made in Berlin with board members, and that we have to implement them sensibly”

The reference that you could “not dictate whether there is a woman on a Dax board” does not convince him, said Söder. There are highly qualified men and women who could easily do these jobs. The coalition must “send out a signal because it also serves as a role model for the many young women in our country”.

The Union and the SPD had agreed to tighten the rules to get women into management positions in private and public companies. In addition, the top posts in public companies are to be filled equally by 2025.

There is already a bill. But he’s stuck in the coalition

The draft law with the beautiful abbreviation FüPoGII submitted by ministers Franziska Giffey (family and women) and Christine Lambrecht (justice) has so far been stuck in the coalition – although the SPD ministers had pushed forward in the Söderian sense. For the first time they proposed a quota for board members and a stricter quota for supervisory boards. This frightened the board members of Deutsche Bahn so much that they warned that women on the board would cause serious disadvantages for Deutsche Bahn.

A compromise is now emerging. “The law will be discussed in the coalition,” said government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer on Wednesday in Berlin. According to information from the working group set up specifically by the Süddeutsche Zeitung “Substantial progress, also in the private sector, be it in supervisory boards or executive boards”. Nobody believes any more that a quota for board members can be prevented – if things “move visibly” in the federal companies. Specifically, this would mean that one or the other savings bank director or head of health insurance has to vacate his post before the quota takes effect in private companies.

The advance from the south does not please everyone in the Union

Söder may have known about the compromises and found it opportune to stand next to the Chancellor quickly. Not everyone in the Union was pleased, especially not the supporters of Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen. Merz and Röttgen are applying for the office of CDU chief, but have not yet managed to put a woman at their side. Merz rejects quotas in principle. In comparison, Söder is doing well: In Munich, he has the CSU share of his cabinet equally.

Olaf Scholz, Vice Chancellor and, as the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, a political competitor to the CSU boss, Söder now wants to take his word for it. “The time for excuses is over,” Scholz told the SZ: “I urge the CDU / CSU not to block this law in the cabinet any longer.”

According to an evaluation by the organization “Women on Supervisory Boards”, only just under every third supervisory board position in the 188 largest listed German companies was occupied by a woman. Men even dominated the executive boards with almost 90 percent.

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Diversity: How Wrong Arguments Jeopardize the Right Goal – Economy

It is often said that diversity is good for business. There is no evidence for this. Why it is dangerous to struggle with questionable arguments for the right goal.

Essay by

Felicitas Wilke

Last Monday, the Federal Minister for Women, Franziska Giffey, stood in front of a green wall with the words “Diversity” emblazoned on it. The management consultancy BCG has invited to a round table, the question is how it can succeed that companies in Germany finally consider more women for management positions. In her keynote speech, which is broadcast live stream in accordance with the pandemic, the politician says what she does not tire of emphasizing in one way or another: It is “no charity or nice-to-have” to bring more women to the executive boards ” we actually have a situation where mixed teams are more successful “.

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Parity law: equality slowed down (neue-deutschland.de)

It was almost a courageous step in the fight for equality: at the beginning of 2019, the coalition of the SPD and the Left Party, in cooperation with the Greens, was the first state government to pass a law according to which parties are only allowed to fill their state lists for state elections equally. With the so-called zipper principle, the alternating occupation of the list places, equal opportunities for women and men should be guaranteed for a mandate.

The law came into force on July 1st of this year. So far, it has not been used – this should happen for the first time in the state election in 2024. The corresponding law overturned the constitutional court of the state of Brandenburg on Friday. The prescribed parity has an impermissible influence on the chances of the parties in the election, it says in the judgment. Through the Parity Act, the legislature withdraws a substantial part of the democratic decision-making process by influencing the composition of the lists.

For Kathrin Dannenberg, parliamentary group leader of the Left in the state parliament, this is “a defeat, but not a knockout.” It is true that the judgment is respected that the equality of women and men in parliaments still results for the left from the democratic principle of the Basic Law. “We’re sticking to it: The voice of the Brandenburg women must have greater weight in the state parliament. Parity does not harm democracy, it strengthens it. “

The state chairwoman of the Left, Anja Mayer, also declared: »The verdict is a bitter signal for the fight for equality. In the opinion of the court, of all things, the level of political decision-makers should be exempted from regulations that ensure equality legally. «The spokeswoman for women’s and equality policy of the SPD parliamentary group, Elske Hildebrandt, spoke of the fact that equal participation of women and Men in political decisions and processes continue to be the declared aim of the SPD in Brandenburg.

The extreme right could be happy: the national associations of NPD and AfD had filed the now negotiated lawsuits against the parity law. They saw the freedom of choice and the freedom of the parties to organize seriously impaired. The plaintiffs argued that the law violates the parties’ freedom to choose their candidates on their own terms. It also discriminates against men and violates the Basic Law and the state constitution. The NPD criticized that because of the low proportion of women it had little chance of meeting the requirements. The AfD may have felt the same way. Right-wing populists have the lowest proportion of women in the state parliament, at 22 percent. Greens and leftists, on the other hand, are already implementing a quota of 50 percent – without any law. Of the total of 88 members of all parliamentary groups, one third are women.

The Young Liberals also welcomed the court’s decision. That the red-red-green alliance gave the NPD and AfD the chance to present themselves as model democrats loyal to the constitution is scandalous, according to their state chairman Matti Karstedt. One now wants to work on “constitutional solutions”.

Decision like in Thuringia

With their verdict, the constitutional judges in Potsdam made the same decision as their colleagues in Thuringia before. In July, the Constitutional Court in Weimar had already declared the state election law reformed by Red-Red-Green to be unconstitutional. It affects “the right to freedom and equality of choice” as well as the “right of political parties to freedom of activity, freedom of programs and equal opportunities.” Both rights also apply to “preparatory acts” such as listing candidates, the verdict said. It was passed with six votes to three. The only two judges in this case and one judge gave separate opinions in which they declared that the law was in conformity with the constitution.

Renate Licht and Jens Petermann decided that the »structural discrimination that actually exists against women in politics« is misunderstood. In the meantime, a complaint has been submitted to the Federal Constitutional Court. It should examine the decision from Weimar. In addition, the parliamentary groups of Left and Greens had declared that they could imagine a new attempt at a parity law. The special votes had shown the legal leeway, said the left parliamentary group leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow after the judgment.

The chairwoman of the Brandenburg Left, Katharina Slanina, announced something similar: “In its judgment, the court has already given the first indications of necessary changes to the state constitution.” It is also assumed that the parties in the governing coalition are also interested in a speedy restart , and am available for appropriate discussions, said Slanina. Group leader Dannenberg said: “Right now we see ourselves strengthened in the fact that this area must also be examined as part of a constitutional reform.”

Nationwide initiatives

Despite legal concerns, there are also initiatives for parity laws in other federal states and at the federal level. As a list of the German Women’s Council shows, corresponding demands were made in May 2019 in all federal states except Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Saarland. The left-wing parliamentary group in Berlin presented a draft in March 2019. A month ago, a study by the SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation confirmed that the project was in conformity with the constitution. The author of the study, Silke Ruth Laskowski, comes to the conclusion: “A parity amendment to the Berlin electoral law is possible and also necessary within the framework of the current constitution of Berlin and the Basic Law!” When the draft law comes to the vote in the House of Representatives, is so far unclear.

In an interview with “nd.DerTag”, the President of the German Association of Women Lawyers (DJB) Maria Wersig explained that there are other ways of combating the underrepresentation of women in addition to quoting. “One could anchor equality concepts in the party law,” she said on Wednesday. “Or expand party funding that honors the results of these efforts.”

From the DJB’s point of view, both the Thuringian and Brandenburg parity laws were constitutional. After the Potsdam judgment, Wersig was nevertheless confident: »The Brandenburg Constitutional Court today missed the opportunity to cement the milestone set by parliament for democracy and equal rights. The debate continues anyway, “she said on the short message service Twitter. “Again,” said the President of the State Parliament, Ulrike Liedtke, after the verdict.

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Quota of women on boards: women? Yes, please! (neue-deutschland.de)

Photo: Oliver Berg / dpa

Sometimes it seems like the questions of all questions: Do we need binding quota regulations to advance gender equality? Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht and Federal Minister for Women Franziska Giffey say yes and call for a quota for women on board members of large German companies. The SPD politicians are supported by a network of prominent women that met in Berlin on Wednesday to once again argue for this demand.

The answer is clear when you look at the figures from the past few years. In 2015 the federal government passed a law on the equal participation of women and men in management positions. A statutory quota of 30 percent has been set for supervisory boards; The balance sheet after five years: 70 companies have set themselves a »target« of zero women.

Voluntariness as a concept for more gender equality is a myth – and a slap in the face of all those highly qualified women who want to take on management positions. There are many of them, emphasizes Jutta Allmendinger, President of the Berlin Social Science Center, who is a member of the network: “The pipeline is full.”

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NBA: Becky Hammon could become head coach – Sports

Why not? This question really comes up all the time while watching sports. Why do women so seldom wave around on the sidelines? Regardless of the sport – mostly only coaches can be seen, but rarely female coaches. A woman as the coach of a Bundesliga soccer team, a men’s team, mind you, that should have been up to date for a long time. After all, it is the other way around. Horst Hrubesch trained the DFB women in 2018. With men as coach, Angelique Kerber won Grand Slam tournaments in tennis. Soccer coach Bernd Schröder coached the women from Turbine Potsdam on countless titles.

There are exactly zero point valid reasons why women should coach worse than men. No physiognomic, no cultural-historical and no didactic either. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that the next time the so-called coach carousel turns, a woman will jump up as a candidate. Inka Grings or Imke Wübbenhorst, for example, they are the exceptions: women who have coached in the lower-class area of ​​men’s football. Grings at SV Straelen, Wübbenhorst in Cloppenburg and now in Lotte, both regional leagues. So it works.

It has long been the case that a woman, like referee Bibiana Steinhaus, whistles or whistles Bundesliga games, because she stops. But a woman as a tactician in the front row? As a motivational artist? As a guru like Guardiola? As a specialist? Or simply as a wandering bird that moves from club to club like Felix Magath does today? In football, strangely enough, it’s hard to imagine – in basketball, on the other hand, the modern age is more advanced with Becky Hammon. In the NBA, she will probably get a senior position soon.

The only question is: when?

The 43-year-old would be the first ever head coach in one of the major American leagues. She started as the first full-time assistant coach in US professional sport in 2014 – many have joined the team since then, most recently Kara Lawson with the Boston Celtics and Lindsay Gottlieb with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hammon, who comes from Rapid City in South Dakota, works for the San Antonio Spurs under head coach Gregg Popovich, 71. “Pop” is considered a kind of Christian prank for basketball in the USA. His opinion carries weight because he also deals with uncomfortable social issues speaks openly. He has been running the Spurs for 24 years, he has won multiple championships – and promotes Becky Hammon.

Becky Hammon and the “he-she comparison”

He says: “If she were to become a head coach somewhere, that would also be clever from a marketing point of view. But that’s not the point: It’s about her having everything she needs with her expertise.” Earlier, Popovich pointed out that “the whole he-she comparison” completely misses the point. “First and foremost, she’s a trainer, her gender doesn’t matter.” Maybe that’s why Hammon will inherit him in San Antonio anyway: Popovich’s contract ends in 2022. He would then be 73.

But there is also a more nimble scenario: While the finals between the LA Lakers and the Miami Heat have just ended in the NBA, future plans are in progress elsewhere. And Hammon is repeatedly named as a candidate. Most recently with the Philadelphia 76ers, where veteran Doc Rivers was hired, who previously had to leave the LA Clippers. Hammon himself is open about her ambitions. “For example, I had talks with the Indiana Pacers, now you have to see if it fits – it’s not up to me anymore,” she said at a NBA coaching conference.

Four weeks have passed since the meeting with the Pacers, and the club is also looking into other, all male candidates. Does manager Kevin Pritchard have the guts to really think “out of the box” as he announced? And does Hammon, with her go-getters mentality, fit in with Indiana, where the demands are high? Or would she be better off at the start of her head coaching career at a club in the process of rebuilding? For example with the New Orleans Pelicans, where the huge talent Zion Williamson still needs polishing? There are also vacancies at the Clippers, the Houston Rockets and Dennis Schröder’s Oklahoma City Thunder. “Is Becky Hammon’s hour now?” asked the magazine Sports Illustrated.

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“Thomas cycle”: That’s why 101 companies are getting a red letter today

Genau 101 companies in Germany will receive a red envelope on Wednesday. In a sense, they are the failures among the 160 listed companies from Dax, MDax and SDax – at least from the sender’s point of view. Because they did not appoint a single woman to the top management level.

The post that denounced this was sent by the non-profit Allbright Foundation. She advocates more diversity and women in management positions and has now completed the report on current developments. The most alarming finding for them: There are even setbacks among the 30 DAX companies. As of September 1, eleven of them had no women on the Executive Board. Last year there were only six.

“This setback is terrifying,” says Allbright Managing Director Wiebke Ankersen. Actually things have been steadily improving recently – slowly, but in the direction of more diversity. Overall, the subdued trend continues: Compared to 2019, there are two fewer letter recipients among the 160 companies in the Dax family.

But of all things, the opposite happens with the DAX companies. Allbright has a total of 23 women on the executive boards, compared to 29 in the previous year. The proportion of women is just under 13 percent, which is the same as in 2017.

There are still four candidates among the DAX companies who formally have no ambitions to change that. The companies from Dax, MDax and SDax are obliged to publish targets for increasing the proportion of women on their boards. According to Allbright, Delivery Hero, Deutsche Wohnen, Heidelberg Cement and RWE indicate the target figure zero by 2022.

“We thought the all-male teams in the Dax will disappear this year because you can no longer afford it for reasons of reputation,” says Ankersen. In their eyes, the big boys have been the model students when it comes to diversity. But this picture has now got clear cracks.

“During the crisis, corporations rely on the supposedly secure”

Ankersen attributes this not only, but also to the Corona crisis. Individual companies downsized their board members, women left more often and were replaced by men. “In the crisis, corporations apparently rely on the supposedly secure – namely men who seem more familiar to them as a management type,” says Ankersen.

According to Ankersen, behind this is a phenomenon that she calls the “Thomas cycle”. The corporations have been recruiting their board members according to the same pattern for decades: The members are predominantly male West German scientists in their mid-fifties – and a particularly large number of them are called Thomas.

A crisis is actually a good time to question established structures and try out new things, says Ankersen. But this is exactly what the companies evidently shied away from, and they even increased their thinking in traditional templates.

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Founder’s career

Germany is taking a different approach, the foundation attests. For comparison, the authors of the report looked at companies from five other countries that are listed in the respective national leading index: France, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden and the USA. There, during the crisis, “more diverse management teams are being built up”.

The proportion of women in top management is sometimes more than twice as high as in the Dax companies: While it is a good ten percent here on average, it is almost 29 percent in the USA. In this comparison, the Federal Republic of Germany is the only country in which none of the 30 largest corporations has 30 percent women on the executive board. And it is the only country where no company is run by a woman.

Recently, however, there have been signs of changes. According to the report, two companies will soon achieve a 33 percent share of women for the first time: Deutsche Telekom in November and SAP in January. Siemens, on the cut-off date of the Allbright survey without a woman on the Executive Board, has had a HR manager in Judith Wiese again since October. And at the pharmaceutical company Merck, Belén Garijo, a woman, is to take over the chairmanship of the management team from May.

Source: WORLD infographic

Garijo was of course already on the board of directors; “Such very experienced women get the chance of further advancement even in the crisis,” says Ankersen. It was similar with Martina Merz, who became CEO of the ailing steel giant Thyssenkrupp a year ago. However, Ankersen also hopes that the worst may have bottomed out. “We hope it’s just a dent in development and the corporations will sort themselves even better as the crisis progresses,” she says.

The employer-related Institute of the German Economy (IW) points out that the proportion of women on corporate boards is also a question of the offer. “On average, women in Germany work part-time much more often,” says IW economist Oliver Stettes. That hinders their chances of promotion, because in many companies the promotion is also an instrument of the reward for past achievements.

If you compete as a part-time employee against a full-time employee, you logically have worse cards. “A climb up a long career ladder to the top ranks is preceded by a strong commitment to time,” says Stettes. “It’s not about comfortable positions, you have to bite through.”

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The path to leadership

The state could, of course, encourage family and work to be better reconciled, for example by expanding the care infrastructure. However, it is not certain whether people will end up behaving as expected. For him: “It is legitimate if companies do not regard gender as a central characteristic when filling a management position.”

Even Allbright Managing Director Ankersen does not call for binding guidelines on the proportion of women on boards, as Federal Family Minister Franziska Giffey and Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (both SPD) are striving for. “We rely on companies to take action in their own interest,” she says.

There are other means available to the state to support women’s career advancement. As an example, she cites the lack of day care places, which still make it difficult to combine family and work, and the splitting of spouses, which means that many women work less part-time.

Source: WORLD infographic

The draft law that the ministers are seeking is on hold due to opposition from the Union. The coalition committee agreed at the end of August to set up a working group to defuse the conflict. But Giffey’s hope for an agreement in September was not fulfilled.

Your ministry wants, among other things, to expand the fixed gender quota of 30 percent on the supervisory board to all companies that have equal participation. This will increase the number of companies affected from currently 105 to 600.

In addition, there should be a quota for board members: if there are four or more members, at least one woman should be a member of the board. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Family Affairs had emphasized that only a fixed quota would work – and that it would be an economic measure if more women were to be in management positions. “Because mixed teams make better decisions for companies,” she said.

A maternity leave is also under discussion for top managers in public companies. Union politicians advocated opening the way to a kind of parental or care leave. It is about being able to let the mandate rest without having to resign from the board of directors and without having to bear liability risks during that time. Justice Minister Lambrecht is apparently considering changes to stock corporation law to enable family time off for board members of listed companies.

The proportion of women on the German supervisory boards of the 160 listed companies is significantly higher than on the executive boards. According to the Allbright Report, it was around 32 percent on the reporting date. Five percent of the supervisory board chairmen were women.

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Economists against the tax privilege of “housewife marriage”

Spouse splitting

The Federal Constitutional Court has emphasized in several rulings that marriage is also accompanied by the obligation of mutual maintenance. Married people would be disadvantaged compared to unmarried people if there were no tax compensation.

(Photo: Imago)

Berlin Spouse splitting has been an issue in the federal election campaign for decades – and has remained unchanged since then. Economists are now proposing a first step towards the abolition of the tax privilege for married people: As in Sweden and Austria, the spouses’ maintenance claims should be taken into account for tax purposes in the future. In this country, however, these claims should be set lower for the tax than previously for divorced persons, namely only at the level of the basic tax allowance of 9696 euros.

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