European diversity

One fact from a column by Richard Milne in yesterday’s Financial Times really shocked me:

The situation [on female directors] is even worse in Germany, which shamefully only has one female management board member from the 200 or so executives in Dax-30 companies, Bettina von Oesterreich at Hypo Real Estate.

Milne’s starting point for his column was the recent comment by Siemens’ CEO Peter Lõscher that his own group was “too German, too white and too male”. Germany has a female chancellor, which seems to me (and I imagine most Germans) unremarkable at this point. It seems extraordinary that large corporations haven’t moved with the times. What a neglect of half the country’s talent.

Milne points out the a survey of the UK’s FTSE-100 companies in 2006 found only 11 per cent of directors were female. That’s bad, but it looks wonderful compared to Germany.

2 thoughts on “European diversity

  1. Scott Hanson

    Germany has some serious cultural problems with women and work. A US expat here, a new mother with a PhD, just posted about her frustrations with attitudes here and what she should expect to achieve with her education: “A house, a husband, a child!” How 19th century!

  2. The German

    But the situation is changing rapidly. If you look at the second and third tier management, there are a lot of ladies there. In the next decade or so, some of these people will take over their company management. This change must have started a couple of decades ago. Else, we wouldn’t be here now!


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