Successful Track Record at the FidAR-Anniversary: More Women on Board than ever before / Legal Pressure and Conviction lead to equal Opportunities
Berlin, November 11, 2016: Ten years after its founding, the initiative FidAR – Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e.V. can look back on a successful track record with more women than ever before taking up leading positions in business. All of the 106 companies subject to the minimum quota which carried out elections for a supervisory board in 2016 have now realised the legally required 30% level. This information is derived from the current Women-on-Board-Index 100 dated November 2, 2016 (www.wob-index.de).
In her anniversary congratulations, the German federal minister for families, senior citizens, women and youth, Manuela Schwesig, emphasised the contribution made by FidAR towards more equal opportunities in the economy: “Assertiveness and the courage to explore new horizons – that is FidAR. Over the last ten years you have worked to promote equality between men and women until this becomes a reality in top management positions. Many thanks for your commitment. We have introduced a cultural change and together we will continue to work on it. There is still a lot to do!” For the chairperson of the CDU women’s union of Germany, the parliamentary state secretary Annette Widmann-Mauz, it’s quite clear: “Without FidAR there wouldn’t be a women’s quota today for supervisory boards!” The parliamentary party leader of the “Bündnis 90/Die Grünen” (Green) party on the German lower house, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, highlights the persistent commitment of FidAR: “Many thanks to the women of FidAR for 10 years of courage, perseverance and patience in the fight for a women’s quota on supervisory boards. You have successfully intensified the contact between business, politics and women’s associations. Please carry on!”
“In comparison to 2006, when many years of voluntary commitment had failed to achieve success, now the statutory quota has achieved a measurable increase in proportion of women in important management positions”, explains FidAR president Monika Schulz-Strelow. “That is an important partial victory on the way to the enforcement of equal opportunities for women and men in business. We have achieved this by discussing this subject with women’s associations, the business community, politicians, the media and academics. Given current political developments, the co-operation is more important than ever before. Now what counts is that this success has an impact on company boards and the upper levels of management. Regarding the individual target figures we expect considerably more commitment. FidAR will continue to promote transparency to ensure that the equal representation of women enshrined in basic law is implemented in all areas of the German economy.”
The Initiative FidAR founded in 2006 has made a major contribution towards making sure that the law for the equal representation of women in top management positions came into force in 2015. In this process important milestones were established on the way to the statutory quota in forums initiated by FidAR resulting in a phased plan introduced in 2009 by German federal minister for families, Ursula von der Leyen, for more women in top management and the recommendation of the corporate governance codex for more diversity on supervisory boards and management boards. The voluntary announcement of a women’s quota by the Deutsche Telekom AG company at the FidAR forum in March 2010 and the demand of the DCGK for definite plans to increase the proportion of women on supervisory boards all served to put more pressure on companies. FidAR had provided active assistance with the development of the Women-on-Board Index first published in 2011, a ranking of the 160 DAX listed companies according to the proportion of women on the supervisory and management boards and later also with the Public WoB-Index, the WoB-Index 100 and the trend indicator.
The current figures underline the upward trend. While in 2011 the proportion of women on supervisory boards of the 160 companies listed on the DAX, MDAX, SDAX and TecDAX was still 10%, the number has now almost tripled to 25.9%. In the same period the proportion of women on management boards has more than doubled from 3 to 6.5%, although this figure remains very low. This information was made available on November 2, 2016, when the updated figures of the WoB-Index 160 (www.wob-index.de) were published. According to current figures, slightly higher values are achieved by the 106 listed companies and fully co-determined companies of the WoB-Index 100 with representation of 27.5% on supervisory boards and 6.6% on management boards. 49 of the 106 companies have today already realised the legally required women’s quota of 30%, including all companies which carried out elections for supervisory boards in 2016 and therefore were obliged to meet the legal requirements. In the 106 companies which are currently subject to the women’s quota, only 92 positions for women remain unfilled for all the companies to have 30% or more women on the supervisory board. According to the Public WoB-Index, in the largest public companies the proportion of women has also substantially risen on supervisory boards (28.4%) and on management boards (16.5%).
“The decisive point is the development behind the figures. In top management there is a growing conviction that mixed teams increase the success of companies. The resulting improved corporate governance is also more easily able to convince investors”, emphasises Schulz-Strelow. “At the same time women have also been included in the most important decision-making bodies. These are committees relevant for supervisory boards whose duties include the appointment of management boards or decisions regarding human resources and therefore also have an influence on internal career opportunities. Figures which look good on paper on their own are not enough to ensure good company management.”
FidAR was set up in 2005 by women in leading positions in the economy, science and politics as a politically-independent national initiative and in November 2006 established as an association (German e.V.) with the target of achieving a sustainable increase in the proportion of women on the supervisory boards of German companies. An important starting point for the foundation of the association was the knowledge that the voluntary commitment of the industrial associations introduced by former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder in July 2001 had not resulted in any progress in the proportion of women in top management positions. Today FidAR has more than 650 members – men and women – who hold important positions in the economy and public life. FidAR is regionally represented in Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart.
More information on the development of FidAR is listed in the anniversary brochure available at www.fidar.de.
The WoB indices are sponsored by the German federal ministry for families, senior citizens, women and youth. The surveys for the women on board index are available at www.wob-index.de.
Monika Schulz-Strelow | President | FidAR – Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e. V.
Tel.: +49 (0) 30 887144713, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthias Struwe | Director | Eye Communications | Full Service Public Relations Agency
Tel.: +49 (0) 761 1376221, email: email@example.com
FidAR – Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e.V. is a politically-independent national initiative which was initiated in 2006 by women in leading positions in the economy, science and politics. FidAR strives to achieve a sustainable increase in the proportion of women on the supervisory boards of German companies and the improvement of company controls. The aim of the initiative is for equal representation of women and men for all management positions in the German economy. FidAR pursues these targets in close co‑operation with business, politics, science and in co-operation with the relevant trade and women’s associations. More information on FidAR is available at www.fidar.de.
FidAR is EWoB’s member in Germany