Germany to require listed companies to fill at least 30 per cent of boardroom seats with women

BERLIN – Germany’s coalition government wants major companies to have at least 30 per cent women on its supervisory boards.

The leaders of Germany’s Social Democrats and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc agreed on the measure at a late-night meeting Tuesday. Merkel said Wednesday a bill will be put to Cabinet on Dec. 11.

Currently women hold just 22 per cent of non-executive positions on the boards of companies listed in Germany’s benchmark DAX 30 index. They hold six per cent of management board posts.

The new plan will affect 100 listed companies starting 2016. Companies that fail to recruit enough women to non-executive boardroom posts will be barred from giving the seats to men.

Introducing a women’s quota was one of the centre-left Social Democrats’ demands for entering into a coalition with Merkel’s conservatives.