News

Women few and far between in top German management according to IAB study

A new study has found minor improvements in female representation in top management positions. But gender equality is still only a dream for many German companies.

Stock photo - Female representation in top-level positions (picture-alliance/dpa/T. Brakemeier)

Women only occupied one in four top management positions at German firms in 2016, a new government study has found.

Forty percent of jobs in middle management were occupied by women, the Institute for Labor Market and Occupation Research (IAB) said after the study's release on Tuesday.

The results, which were based on a survey of 16,000 of small and large businesses, showed mild improvements compared to 2004. Female representation improved two percentage points in top management and seven percentage points in middle management.

Watch video 04:24

Fact Check: Women in creative industries

Read more: 'I can do it!': Summit celebrates powerful women

The IAB said companies were making more of an effort to improve gender equality, but that there was still much room for improvement.

"Firms are committing themselves more to introducing measures to achieve more gender equality," it said. "But the targeted support for women, particularly preparing them for leadership responsibilities, is still quite rare."

The study did find differences according to size and industry.

Large companies with more than 500 employees only had 13 percent female representation in their top management. For companies with under 10 employees, it was 28 percent.

Read more: A quota could help women break that glass ceiling

Overall, female managers were most common in the health and education sectors. Yet their representation was far higher in middle management — 71 percent — than in top level management — 46 percent.

Lack of female representation has been controversial in Germany in the last few years. In August, Women's Affairs Minister Katarina Barley threatened to introduce a mandatory female quota if Germany's largest companies failed to put more women on their executive boards.

Read more: German minister threatens mandatory quota to push women execs

Watch video 01:21

Gender quotas in Germany

DW recommends

WWW links

Audios and videos on the topic

Albanian Shqip

Amharic አማርኛ

Arabic العربية

Bengali বাংলা

Bosnian B/H/S

Bulgarian Български

Chinese (Simplified) 简

Chinese (Traditional) 繁

Croatian Hrvatski

Dari دری

English English

French Français

German Deutsch

Greek Ελληνικά

Hausa Hausa

Hindi हिन्दी

Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia

Kiswahili Kiswahili

Macedonian Македонски

Pashto پښتو

Persian فارسی

Polish Polski

Portuguese Português para África

Portuguese Português do Brasil

Romanian Română

Russian Русский

Serbian Српски/Srpski

Spanish Español

Turkish Türkçe

Ukrainian Українська

Urdu اردو