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Men have too much Power in German Supervisory Boards

The share of women in the newly-constituted supervisory boards in the DAX-30 companies is the lowest since 2010. 82 supervisors thus have to resign their commissions.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung | May 25, 2019



The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung article, “Men have too much Power in German Supervisory Boards,” quoted Russell Reynolds Associates’ Consultant Jens-Thomas Pietralla on the composition of German boards. The article is excerpted below.

The power in German supervisory boards is concentrated in the hands of too few men. This is the report of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung,” referring to an as yet unpublished study of the personnel consulting firm Russell Reynolds.

Thus, all supervisors have to reduce the number of their obligations, if they want to comply with the newly-issued “Corporate Governance Code“. That would cause a maelstrom among the German supervisory boards, the F.A.S. states, referring to the study. Thus, a total of 82 supervisory board members from DAX companies resign their commissions; “that would have enormous explosive power“.

The companies differ greatly in the payment of their supervisory board members; right at the top is the storm-tossed Deutsche Bank. Here, a supervisory board member receives six times that earned by a Merck supervisory board member. The average compensation of DAX company supervisory board members is 191,000 Euro, which means an increase of seven percent over the previous year.

The study also showed that the share of women in the newly-occupied commissions in the Dax-30 companies has fallen to 23 percent, which is the lowest since the year 2010. Men continue to dominate at the top of the companies, all protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. “Seven companies in the Dax still have a purely male management“, states Jens-Thomas Pietralla of Russel Reynolds, the dynamic in the growth of the share of women has come to a halt.

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