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Equality – Promoting equality and a partnership-based division of responsibilities

Indicator 5.1.b, c: Women in management positions in business and in the federal civil service

SDG-5.5.2

b) Business Weathersymbol

(Evaluation of the year 2020 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

c) Federal civil service Weathersymbol

(Evaluation of the year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Indicator 5.1.b shows the percentage of women on supervisory boards of listed and fully co-determined companies. Indicator 5.1.c shows the percentage of women in management positions in the federal civil service.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Women are as highly qualified as men, yet they are they are under-represented in management positions in German business, particularly at senior management level. The same applies to the percentage of women in management positions in the federal civil service. For this reason, the share of women on supervisory boards of listed and fully co-determined companies is to be increased to 30% by 2030. Under the bill for a Second Gender Equality (Management Positions) Act, which the Cabinet adopted on 6 January 2021, equal representation of women and men in management positions in the civil service is to be achieved by 2025. This will fulfil one of the commitments made in the coalition agreement of 2018.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

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Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

Percentage of women on supervisory boards of listed and fully co-determined companies

The indicator records the percentage of women on the supervisory boards of joint-stock companies and partnerships limited by shares with more than 2,000 employees plus European companies (SEs) and listed companies with full co-determination. The data basis for the indicator comprises the publications of listed and fully co-determined companies, which are analysed by the Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte (Women on Board) association and published in the form of a WOB index.

In January 2020, women’s share of positions on the supervisory boards of these companies came to about 35.2%. In January 2015, it was still only 21.3%. The target of 30% was reached in 2018, which was twelve years in advance of the deadline set in the German Sustainable Development Strategy. The Gender Equality (Management Positions) Act prescribed that, in cases where elections were held for positions on the supervisory boards of the companies defined above in or after 2016, at least 30% of the seats on those boards must be occupied by women, and so compliance with the Act could be expected to yield this increase.

Given the definition used for the indicator, most of the businesses in Germany and the majority of management positions in the private sector are not taken into account. At the present time, the reported and analysed data relate to a group of 105 companies. The positions on supervisory boards that the WOB association has examined to date, fewer than 1,600 in number, are but a small fraction of the total of 882,000 management positions in the private sector identified by the pay structure survey in 2018. The figures show clearly that focusing on the supervisory board of a company reveals only some of the management positions in that company.

According to the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO), managers are all persons who plan, direct, coordinate and evaluate the overall activities of enterprises, governments and other organisations, or of organisational units within them, and formulate and review their policies, laws, rules and regulations. This definition includes the activities of supervisory boards. If the ISCO classification is used as a basis, 22% of the 882,000 management positions in businesses were held by women in 2018. This figure is reached by considering all businesses with at least one employee for whom compulsory social insurance contributions are payable, excluding entities in sector O – Public administration and defence; compulsory social security – and parts of sector P – Education. Compared with 2014, the year of the previous pay structure survey, this represents an increase of 1.2 percentage points.

Percentage of women in management positions in the federal civil service

The data basis for this indicator comprises the internal gender equality statistics collected by all offices of the federal government pursuant to the Federal Gender Equality Act. Since 2015, these statistics have been compiled every second year, updated to 30 June, by the Federal Statistical Office on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Before then they were compiled annually.

In 2019, according to preliminary data, the proportion of women in management positions in the federal civil service was about 37.6%. In 2000, the indicator value was 19.5%. This represents a 92.8% increase in the proportion of women since 2000. If the trend of the last five years were maintained, the target of virtual numerical equality in management positions in the federal civil service by 2025 would be narrowly missed.

The indicator is focused on the employees in management positions in all departments of the federal government. Their number includes all persons employed on a full-time or part-time basis as well as those who have been given leave of absence on grounds of family or care responsibilities or have been entirely released from their normal duties. The departments of the federal civil service encompass the supreme federal authorities, the subordinate federal authorities and courts and the corporations, agencies and foundations established under federal public law.

The concept of management positions that is used in the federal gender equality statistics differs from the aforementioned ISCO definition. There is therefore only limited scope for comparisons between the different statistics.

In the gender equality statistics, managers have hitherto comprised those persons who have command and leadership duties in departments of the civil service. In order to ensure a certain degree of consistency and to enable comparability of the figures, only employees with supervisory and management duties in the senior civil service are recorded in the federal ministries, irrespective of whether employees in the senior or midlevel civil service also perform such duties in these departments. As a rule, such functions, ranging from heads of division to state secretaries, are performed by staff in the higher service. In other departments, moreover, management positions may be delegated to staff in the higher intermediate or intermediate service.

The Second Gender Equality (Management Positions) Act (Zweites Führungspositionengesetz) has specified which positions are to be included in the future statistics, which will be compiled in accordance with section 3 of the Ordinance on Equal Opportunities Statistics (Gleichstellungsstatistikverordnung).

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Time series 1

Indicator

5.1.b Women in management positions in business

Target

30% women on supervisory boards of listed and fully co-determined companies by 2030

Year

2020

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich

Time series 2

Indicator

5.1.c Women in management positions in the federal civil service

Target

Equal-opportunity participation of women and men in civil service management positions by 2025

Year

2014

2015

2017

2019

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich

Source 1

 Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e.V.

Organisation

Frauen in die Aufsichtsräte e.V.

Data source Study on the WoB Index (only available in German) opens in a new window

Source 2

 Federal Statistical Office

Organisation

Federal Statistical Office