Germany is led by a woman and boasts a strong female presence in parliament.
But when it comes to business, it seems females are falling behind.
Now, new legislation has been passed – which will force companies to boost representation.
Major firms will have to allot 30 percent of seats on non-executive boards to females.
“This time we will finally celebrate International Women’s Day with a decision of the Bundestag to introduce a quota,” said Manuela Schwesig, Minister for Family Affairs (SPD).
“This is an historic step. Thank you for your support.”
There is not a single female chief executive among the 30 largest companies on Germany’s blue-chip DAX index.
“It’s a pity that we need regulation at all, to have more women in top positions. But it’s clear: the time of ‘voluntary commitments’ is over,” said parliament member Nadine Schön (CDU/CSU).
The new quotas – which come into force next year – will affect more than 100 listed companies who have employee representatives on their supervisory boards.
A further 3,500 medium-sized firms will need to determine their own requirements.
Those not meeting their quota will have to fill vacancies with females or leave the posts empty.