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Greater female representation to be promoted on German supervisory boards

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Following a decision made by Germany’s governing coalition on Tuesday 25 November (announced officially on 11 December), German companies that are subject to the principle of co-determination – which requires certain companies to appoint workers to a supervisory board – will be obliged, as of 2016, to ensure that at least 30 percent of their supervisory board members are women.

The measure, which is expected to receive parliamentary approval shortly, will affect some 100 of Germany’s listed companies, and is hoped to increase female representation on their supervisory boards - a governing body which currently only has, on average, 17.4 percent female members. Companies that are obliged, by law, to have supervisory boards will have to ensure, as of 2016, that they meet the quota or they may face financial penalties. Any seat on the board which becomes free following a resignation or removal after 2016 must be filled with a woman if the board is not composed of at least 30 percent female members.

Further details on the replacement of existing board members and the potential penalties imposed are available from Kate Barker:, or alternatively visit our LinkedIn site for regular international updates.