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Germany to go ahead with 30% quota for women on company boards

Starting from 2016, 30% of corporate board positions must be held by women in some of Germany’s largest listed companies. The agreement on a legal quota was agreed after talks among Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition parties.

Germany’s three-party grand coalition agreed on Tuesday night to a compulsory gender quota in non-executive boards of almost 110 listed German companies. A minimum of 30% of the positions in those boards have to be occupied by women, from 2016.

Despite the quota itself being agreed upon exactly a year ago, other problems have prevented a formal announcement among the parties.

The law will only apply to the listed companies which have employee representation on their supervisory boards. Many other medium-sized companies will be given the freedom to determine their own quota for these positions.

The ratio of men to women in boardrooms is still very unbalanced despite having approximately 40% of females forming part of the federal cabinet.

Many leading German business figures have voiced their opinion on the new legislation.

“We absolutely do not need any kind of legal quotas,” said Ulrich Grillo, the head of the leading BDI industry association.

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