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Paula Dwyer

German Boards Need Women Not Quotas

Germany joined a growing list of countries requiring corporations to meet a quota for women board members. Corporate Germany needed a kick in the pants: Years of voluntary efforts had failed to significantly boost the number of women directors. But placing more women on boards is good for business -- except when it's done by quota.
Too few and far between.

Too few and far between.

Photographer: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, Germany joined Norway, France, Spain and a growing list of other countries requiring corporations to meet a quota for women board members. Corporate Germany needed a kick in the pants: Years of voluntary efforts had failed to significantly boost the number of women directors. 

Despite a woman chancellor and rising female college enrollment, the top jobs in corporate Germany are mostly held by men. The strong pull of tradition for decades has kept women tending to kinder, kuche and kirche (kids, kitchen and church).