German women in management at a standstill for 2008

New numbers show that the percentage of females within top management levels of major German companies has reach a low plateau. From a Hoppenstedt corporate data base analysis, women in German top management sank from 7.46 percent in 2006 to 5.65 percent in 2007. By the end of 2008, the percentage had barely risen to 5.7 percent.
When analysed according to top stocks indices, including Dax, MDax, Sdax and TecDax, the boards of these 678 listed companies included only 20 women, which means 2.9 percent of companies had a woman on their boards. Diversity Expert Michael Stuber stated, “These weak numbers of women in top management reflect not only the male-dominated German culture, but also the male standards in the processes of major German corporations.” He continued, “Talent managers and executive teams must be aware of and address this male dominance in order to broaden stakeholder and consumer attractiveness and to stand against international competition successfully.”
Darmstadt University Sociology professor Michael Hartmann commented, “Managers want to be able to trust each other and that is the easiest when one has the same habits as the other.” Hartmann is confident that this is a major factor which prevents women from entering top management; they belong to the minority and are considered to be different. “This happens unknowingly and board executives do not notice that they are all discriminating in order to keep everyone the same… Up until now, the role of a Diversity Manager has been restricted to being a comfort expert, where he/she would mainly maintain the familiarity of the closed circle of German executive levels.”