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FidAR WoB-Index: More than half of German Executive Boards free of Women: Many DAX Companies Continue to Plan Without Women / Proportion of Women on Supervisory Boards Stagnates

·6-min read

DGAP-News: FidAR - Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e. V. / Key word(s): Study/Study results
27.05.2021 / 10:12
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

FidAR WoB-Index: More than half of German Executive Boards free of Women: Many DAX Companies Continue to Plan Without Women / Proportion of Women on Supervisory Boards Stagnates

- Federal Minister for Women's Affairs Christine Lambrecht: "For real progress we need the minimum participation in the board".

- FidAR President Schulz-Strelow: "Women-free DAX boards must finally be history".

Berlin, 27.05.2021: More than half of Germany's large listed corporations have no women on their management boards. 62 still plan to have a female-free boardroom, including the DAX 30 companies Delivery Hero and RWE. However, the federal government's plans for a statutory minimum participation of women on executive boards are already showing an effect: with adidas, BAYER, E.ON, Infineon, Fielmann and Südzucker, six of the 66 corporations subject to the new regulation have already appointed a woman to the executive board since the announcement of the plan. There is still need for action at 25 companies. This is the result of FidAR's current Women-on-Board Index as of April 2021, which is being published today in Berlin.

Stagnation in the proportion of women on supervisory boards and committees

After a strong increase due to the introduction of the women's quota for supervisory boards in 2015, the growth in supervisory bodies has almost come to a standstill. The proportion of women on the supervisory boards of the 186 companies currently listed on the DAX, MDAX and SDAX as well as those listed on the Regulated Market and subject to equal co-determination has risen minimally by one percentage point to 33.2 per cent since 2020. The 106 companies currently subject to the quota have reached a new high with an average of 36 per cent women on the supervisory board (+0.8 since 2020). In contrast, the 80 DAX companies not subject to the quota remain well below 30 per cent at 24.5 per cent (+1.7 since 2020). The proportion of women is also hardly increasing in the important committees of the supervisory boards - women continue to be significantly underrepresented in the most important decision-making bodies such as the presidential committee and the nomination committee.

Equal participation on boards is slowly increasing

Since the discussion about a women's quota for the management bodies, things are slowly moving in the composition of the boards. The proportion of women has increased by 2.3 percentage points since the previous year to 13 per cent. Among quota companies, the share is slightly higher at 14.1 per cent (+2.6 since 2020), while among non-quota companies it is only 11.3 per cent (+1.8 since 2020). The number of companies with a female-free boardroom that have set a target of "zero" fell from 75 to 62 compared to the previous year - but this still means that almost 40 per cent of the target setting companies have defined a "zero" target for the board.

Statutory minimum participation in the board of directors is right answer to target "zero"

In the WoB Index study, FidAR publishes for the first time the list of 66 companies that fall under the planned minimum participation of women on boards. 25 of these companies (37.9 %) currently have no women on the board and thus a corresponding need for action - just under half of these 25 corporations (12 / 48 %) do not yet plan to change this, as they are currently continuing to set a target of zero for the executive board.

"Women contribute with high qualifications and performance to the success of a company. This must finally be adequately reflected in all management levels of companies. That is why it is high time for the minimum participation of women on management boards," emphasises Federal Minister for Women's Affairs Christine Lambrecht. "The quota already introduced for supervisory boards has shown: These regulations have an effect - and a lasting effect. They not only change the composition of the management bodies, but also affect the entire corporate culture. They have a positive effect and a role model function in the respective company, but also generally on the promotion of young women. With the second law for more women in management positions, we are setting the right course and finally giving qualified women the opportunities they deserve at management level as well."

"There must finally be an end to DAX boards without women. Many companies do not have any women in management positions and are obviously not pursuing any strategy to change this. It is only consistent that they are now called upon more emphatically to participate on an equal footing. The minimum participation requirement should be reached relatively quickly by the 66 companies in question. What is needed, additionally, are credible diversity concepts and noticeably more women at all management levels," explains FidAR President Monika Schulz-Strelow. "We have been studying DAX companies for 10 years now. The result is only satisfactory where the legal regulations have a numerical effect. Beyond that, however, strategic targets for equality are lacking. Corporations that present a target of zero as 'appropriate' and state that they do not pursue a diversity concept obviously need more pressure from the legislator. In the medium term, the supervisory board quota should apply to all companies that are subject to the target size requirement. This is the most effective lever to achieve more change at all management levels. We will campaign strongly for this with a view to the Bundestag elections."

The WoB Index is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The detailed study on the Women-on-Board-Index 185 by FidAR can be found at

Your contact person

Monika Schulz-Strelow, President FidAR - Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e. V.
Tel.: +49 (30) 887 14 47 13, e-mail:

Press contact

Matthias Struwe | Eye Communications | Press and Public Relations Agency
Tel.: +49 (7 61) 137 62-21, e-mail:

About FidAR:

FidAR - Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e. V. (Women on Supervisory Boards) is a non-partisan and supra-regional initiative launched in 2006 by women in leadership positions in business, science and politics. FidAR aims to achieve a sustainable increase in the proportion of women on the supervisory boards of German companies and to improve corporate governance. The goal of the initiative is equal representation in all management positions in the German economy. FidAR pursues these goals in close exchange with business, politics, science and in cooperation with the relevant business and women's associations. More information on FidAR is available on the internet at

27.05.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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