Man's Welt

Women Not Yet on the Verge

Merkel and Bschorr dpa
Strong women: President of the association of female entrepreneurs, Stephanie Bschorr, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    In international comparison, German women are much less likely to reach top positions or even to work full-time, partly because of traditional role models and lacking childcare facilities – an economic problem in times of skilled labor shortages.

  • Facts


    • None of Germany’s top listed companies is headed by a woman.
    • Almost half of all female workers in Germany are in part-time jobs, and almost 30 percent of women don’t work at all.
    • Germany’s parliament will take a vote on a 30-percent quota for women in non-executive supervisory boards today.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

Stephanie Bschorr knew what she wanted — and went out and got it.

A lawyer and accountant with three degrees, Ms. Bschorr has a career in international tax law and a family, including sons aged 14 and 17.

But unfortunately in Germany, Ms. Bschorr is an exception. According to new studies, German women are well represented in public forums such as the Bundestag. But in the workplace, they are frequently rare, and get even rarer, the higher up the corporate ladder.

Ms. Bschorr, like many, had to leave the traditional corporate path in Germany to make her dreams come true.

“You just felt that having kids while climbing the corporate ladder was not going to happen,” Ms. Bschorr, 48, told Handelsblatt Global Edition. “There were no arrangements in place for part-time work, for example.”

Instead of staying at her big accounting firm, she became an entrepreneur and bought shares in HTG, a mid-sized auditing and accounting firm in Berlin. She is now a member of its management board.

“I just knew otherwise I couldn’t be as successful,” she said.

When it comes to women, Germany is a study in contrasts. The country’s chancellor for the last 10 years, Angela Merkel, is one of the most powerful political leaders in Europe, if not the most influential.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.