German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s losing patience with the failure of corporate boards to increase the participation of women.
“With more women than men taking their final school exams, more women than men successfully completing their studies, nobody can tell me that not even roughly as many women as men can take over management responsibility,” Merkel said today at a conference of her Christian Democratic Union party in Hanover, Germany. “This can’t be explained to anybody and that’s why companies are now under pressure to take action.”
Merkel said it’s still her belief that the government should only regulate when companies fail to take action themselves and she backed a flexible quota system that would force companies to meet voluntary targets they set themselves.
Opinion in Merkel’s Cabinet is divided over ways to give women more say on companies’ management boards. While Family Minister Kristina Schroeder backs voluntary quotas set by companies, Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen supports a plan also favored by opposition-controlled German states that would give women statutory rights.