Corporate Board Diversity: How One Country is Making the Female Presence Mandatory

Corporate Board Diversity: How One Country is Making the Female Presence Mandatory

Germany is one country who’s proving it understands the value of female leadership and diversity.

On Friday, the country passed a law that requires companies to give at least 30 percent of its supervisory positions to women beginning next year, proving its commitment to improve the representation of females on corporate boards. Currently, fewer than 20 percent of the seats on executive boards in Germany are filled by women, with the country serving as home to some of the biggest multinational companies in the world including Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler — which is the maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles — as well as Seimens, Deutsche Banks, BASF, Bayer and Merck.

The law was passed after a passionate debate between policy makers about cracking glass ceilings and making history in the workplace. With March marking Women’s History Month and the conversation continuing about gender inequality in the workplace and unequal pay, lawmakers have faced intense pressure to take action.

[Related: 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America]

While Germany’s stance on female leadership is beyond commendable, it is not the first country to implement change in the boardroom. Norway was the first European country to set a boardroom quota, followed by Spain, France and Iceland, who all set their minimums at 40 percent. Italy has set a quota of one-third women in the boardroom, while Belgium and Netherlands have set a quota of 30 percent.

Currently, female boardroom representation in the United States has increased slightly to 17 percent and there are currently no legislative mandates that set a required quota.

Source: The New York Times