German minister says boost women on boards or face law

4th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Family Minister Kristina Schroeder on Thursday warned businesses they had two years to act or a law would be adopted to reduce the under-representation of women in management positions.

A debate has been raging within the government over whether Germany should follow Norway's lead and adopt a law forcing companies to ensure women are represented in the boardroom.

Unless German companies move voluntarily to end under-representation of women in management by 2013 "then a legislative obligation will enter into force," Schroeder said at a news conference.

Schroeder has been advocating adopting a law that does not set a fixed percentage of women on corporate boards, while Employment Minister Ursula von der Leyen wants a 30 percent minimum enshrined in legislation.

Norway introduced in 2008 a requirement that women hold at least 40 percent of the posts on corporate boards at the country's top 500 firms, which has since been expanded.

© 2011 AFP

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