Women Gain More Management Roles at DAX Companies Amid Pressure

The amount of women in management positions at German companies in the benchmark DAX index rose by 1.3 percentage points between 2010 and 2012 as political pressure to promote women increased.

The companies in the index reported on average that women filled 19.1 percent of leadership roles last year, according to calculations based on figures in a joint statement from the 30 DAX members.

Deutsche Bank AG, Fresenius Medical Care AG and Henkel AG topped the list, with 31 percent of leadership jobs held by women at each company. The proportion at Fresenius declined from 32 percent in 2010 however.

The DAX members set their own individual binding targets in October 2011 and publish their results annually, reacting to political pressure and calls for mandatory quotas. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic-led bloc reached a compromise last week setting a binding quota of 30 percent from 2020 on board memberships.

Opposition parties had sought to force large companies to reserve as many as 20 percent of board seats for women from this year, rising to 40 percent from 2018.

HeidelbergCement AG and Continental AG lag their peers in the DAX with women holding 9 percent and 8 percent of leadership roles respectively. ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, didn’t report how many women occupied leadership positions globally.

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