Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


German company imposes gender quota

May 2010

One of the world’s largest telecoms companies has introduced a ‘women’s quota’ so that 30 per cent of management positions worldwide will be filled by females by the end of 2015.

Deutsche Telecom, which will be the first member of the German Dax 30 stock exchange to introduce such measures, said dramatic action was needed because previous efforts to establish proper female representation and gender equality in the firm had failed.

It said the decision was ‘not a tokenistic gesture aimed at political correctness, but the tangible and sustainable implementation of equal opportunities for top talents regardless of gender’.

It announced: ‘Our efforts over the years on the advancement of women were genuine and well-intended, but success remained limited, as in all major companies. We are therefore now taking a new and bold tack without abandoning the advancement measures to date.’

At present women account for only 13 per cent of Deutsche Telecom’s managers.

Rene Obermann, the company’s chief executive, said the quota was a ‘categorical necessity’, not ‘the enforcement of misconstrued egalitarianism’. He said: ‘Having a greater number of women at the top will quite simply enable us to operate better.’ The company hopes particularly to attract female business graduates, who make up 60 per cent of all graduates from German universities.

There has been talk of a similar quota being embedded in national and European Union legislation in recent years.  Norway already requires at least 40 per cent of a company board to consist of women.

Deutsche Telekom | Europe | Equality

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