Greeting the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Dr. Franziska Giffey on the occasion of the award ceremony for the Women’s Career Index 2019 on 8 March 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen
Women can do anything! It’s a fact. Women can raise children and take care of people, build machines and run businesses. Women can do everything – that is a demand at the same time. Because theoretically, women can achieve everything. In practice, they are often still getting obstacles in their way. The companies that measure themselves by the Women’s Career Index want to get rid of these obstacles. I am very pleased that more and more companies are taking part in the index every year. I am therefore very pleased to be the patron of the Women’s Career Index 2019.
The Women’s Career Index determines how companies are committed to reconciling work and family life or making working hours more flexible. Companies that participate in the Index do something to help women get into management positions. The Index gives them feedback on how well they are succeeding in doing so and at the same time makes their commitment visible to the public. I would like to congratulate all the companies that have been certified and are receiving their certificates today.
The law on the equal participation of women and men in management positions in the private sector and in the public service, which came into force in May 2015, has significantly advanced this development. The number of women has increased significantly, particularly on supervisory boards, which are required to have a fixed quota. Many companies and businesses have recognised that they can no longer afford to do without the potential of well-trained women. The cultural change in companies is underway.
But the change is happening too slowly. It is also not being driven forward enough in the economy. The proportion of women on the boards of directors is still far too low. The statutory quota does not apply here, but rather the target figures set by the companies themselves. Many companies do not even set themselves the goal of getting women on the management boards at all – target figure zero. This is neither up-to-date nor fair. The federal government will therefore further develop the legal regulations in 2019 and, in particular, introduce an obligation to give reasons for the zero target figure. This will provide a further impetus for better opportunities for women in management positions in the economy.
First and foremost, however, companies themselves are responsible. Figures, data and facts from the Women’s Career Index show where women are losing out on the way to the top. This makes the Women’s Career Index an important instrument for managing the careers of women in companies. I would like to thank all those who participate in the index for their commitment to more women in management positions. I encourage you to continue on the path you have chosen. I wish you every success!
Dr. Franziska Giffey Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth