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Top-Level Management in Large Companies: Persistent Male-Dominated Structures Leave Little Room for Women

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  • Elke Holst
  • Julia Schimeta

Abstract

The aim of recruiting more women into top-level management positions in business is attracting increasing interest among the general public and policy-makers alike. Calls for a quota for women and the widely publicized appointment of four women to the executive boards of DAX 30 companies in 2011 still does not detract from the fact that women continue to play a marginal role in the most important economic decision-making processes in Germany's largest companies. Again in 2011, only three percent of executive board members in Germany's top 200 companies were women. In the same year, women held an 11.9 percent share of seats on supervisory boards, and over two-thirds of them were employees' representatives. There has been barely any change in the top 200 companies in comparison with previous years. The proportion of women in high-ranking positions in MDAX and SDAX companies is similarly low. The percentage of women in the prominent DAX 30 companies was 3.7 percent in 2011, which represents an increase of 1.5 percentage points from the previous year. In companies with government-owned shares- some of which are considerably smaller-8.2 percent of executive board members and 17.7 percent of supervisory board members are women. This goes to prove that women are also far from achieving gender equality in the boardroom. In comparison with 2010, the percentage of exclusively male supervisory boards even significantly increased: by 8.8 percentage points to 23.6 percent in 2011. The growing realization among policy-makers, business, and civil society that greater gender diversification in the boardroom is needed has yet to lead to the breakthrough hoped for in the appointment of women to executive and supervisory boards.

Suggested Citation

  • Elke Holst & Julia Schimeta, 2012. "Top-Level Management in Large Companies: Persistent Male-Dominated Structures Leave Little Room for Women," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 2(4), pages 3-13.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwdeb:2012-4-1
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.396473.de/diw_econ_bull_2012-04-1.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Busch, Anne & Holst, Elke, 2013. "Geschlechtsspezifische Verdienstunterschiede bei Führungskräften und sonstigen Angestellten in Deutschland: Welche Relevanz hat der Frauenanteil im Beruf?," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 315-336.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Board Diversity; Women CEOs; Gender Equality; Management; DAX. - Companies; Private Companies; Public Companies;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J59 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Other
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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