XX Factor

The Diversity Dividend

Women in DAX Bloomberg PR Cira Moro laif
Pushing the price: Milagros Caiña Carreiro-Andree (BMW), Kathrin Menges (Henkel) and Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt (Daimler). Sources: Bloomberg, PR, laif
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    A study concluded that companies with at least one woman on the management or supervisory board do better on the stock market than others.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Last year, Germany approved a law that will force the nation’s biggest companies to have women in 30 percent of supervisory board positions starting in 2016.
    • Women in Germany earn on average 22 percent less than men, compared to a European average of 16 percent.
    • The 12 out of Germany’s 30 largest listed companies that have a woman on the board tend to outperform the market.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

The issue of how and whether to put more women on boards is a contentious one in Germany. Moves last year to introduce quotas, which would penalize companies that did not have enough women on the board, sparked outrage.

The German government has said it will introduce a law requiring 30 percent of seats on non executive supervisory boards to go to women.

The move was criticized by those who argued that companies would have to give top positions to women who may not necessarily be the best qualified people for the role.

But a quick survey of the DAX 30, the 30 biggest firms on the German stock exchange, shows that having a woman on the board is very definitely an asset.

In 12 of the 30 DAX companies at least one woman holds a seat on the management board and these companies tend to do better than the pack. Of these 12 companies, eight out-performed the market in the last five years.

Take Daimler, which has appointed Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, a former judge on the federal constitutional court, to its board with a special responsibility for integrity and law. She is tasked with monitoring corporate governance and assuring that human rights are respected.

Since she assumed her position four years ago, on February 16, 2011, Daimler’s share price has risen by 50 percent — almost 10 percentage points more than the DAX. Since 2011, Daimler has created more than 6,000 jobs at its German locations and last year posted a pre-tax profit of €10 billion ($11.2 billion), €2 billion more than in 2013.

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