Female Leadership – Do we need a Women’s Quota in the Supervisory Board?

This post highlights some of the arguments of opponents and supporters in the discussion of female leadership. It raises the question whether to implement a women’s quota in leading positions.

The arguments from both sides vary in this area. Opponents of a legally binding quota argue that there are not enough qualified women for leading positions. This view seems to be very vague considering the following statistic taken from the homepage spiegel.de:

http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/jobundberuf/0,1518,grossbild-863978-480883,00.html

The graphic illustrates two aspects:  Women are in general doing better at university than their male colleges. There are studying faster, they do more semesters in a foreign environment and include even more internships during their study. How does this increase of performance pay off for them? Considering the results on entrance salary it simply does not. Women starting a new job after university are in 21 out of 22 cases paid less money than their male counterparts.

Supporters of the women’s quota therefore argue (among other things) that there is still the so called ‘glass ceiling’ which is not based on performance but on other barriers, e.g. sexism.  In order to overcome these barriers there need to be a legally binding quota for women in leading positions. In other words, they try to compensate for an “invisible but real barrier” (businessdictionary.com) with a regulation and make it thereby official and visible.

Interestingly, the EU commissary Reding who initiated the discussion demands a quota of 40 per cent and not 50 per cent which would mean total equal opportunities. This implies that the quota probably would rather be used in order to create an awareness of this ongoing issue.

To conclude, this post tried to answer the question whether to implement a women’s quota in the supervisory board. It illustrated that some of the arguments of the opponents to the women’s quota are unfunded and simply do not reflect the reality today. Furthermore, it highlighted two of the big advantages of a possible regulation: Making an invisible barrier visible and raising awareness of the issue. In order to make a sound decision further arguments would need to be analysed.

Thomas

Advertisements
Comments
12 Responses to “Female Leadership – Do we need a Women’s Quota in the Supervisory Board?”
  1. martinjaja says:

    nice job. really good argumentation and precise conclusion.

  2. femaleleader says:

    Well done, clear structured and very nice to read!!
    I found something quite interesting which is supporting the argument against a legally binding quota, “that there are not enough qualified women for leading positions.” You are right trying to disprove this by showing this shocking table, but we might want to take into account what Michelle J Budig claims in her blog Fem 2.0. She sais that a report by the General Accounting Office “demonstrated that, relative to men, women in management are younger and less educated.” That might be caused by the motherhood of older, more experienced women and gender differences in parenthood earnings. The full post is available here: http://tinyurl.com/3xzmv5a

  3. diiasg says:

    Very well written. Concise and clearly argued. It was interesting to find out that in “21 out of 22 cases” women were paid less upon entry into the job.

  4. As long as women only request quotas in board rooms and parliaments, but not in coal mines or in rubbish collection (http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/quotas-for-women-why-only-in-boardrooms/), it is obvious that this is not about equality, but about a shortcut to success.

  5. Mary says:

    I think the discussion is more about accomplishing ‘equality’ in areas where it is obviously harder for women. I am pretty sure if I wanted to work in garbage collection or in a slaughterhouse, I could immediately find a job there without any quota. I am not sure if this applies to business, though I’d like to call myself pretty educated and think I am having the same prerequisites as some of my male colleagues.

  6. Izzy says:

    I would also say that a quota isn’t as much a shortcut to success as rather a detour to fairness.

Trackbacks
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […]  So why do they not support men at all? Another interesting aspect regarding education was made by Thomas last week. He was referring to a study which clearly highlighted that women are better in school and […]

  2. […] The given point of view supports the implementation of women’s quota as a process of needed change in management we have argued for in this blog, see several posts by Izzy, katjo2010, or thob84. […]

  3. […] in this field over the last month. We have heard about women in supervisory board by Katrin and Thomas, work-life balance and children, Entrepreneurship, ethnic minorities and even about […]

  4. […] in this field over the last month. We have heard about women in supervisory board by Katrin and Thomas, work-life balance and children, Entrepreneurship, ethnic minorities and even about […]

  5. […] of my team members wrote about the legal aspects (Women in the supervisory boards by Katrin and Female Leadership – Do we need a women’s quota in the supervisory board?). Women’s quota soon developed to be the biggest tag in our tag […]

  6. […] such as: Does The Future Belong To Women, Less Risk With Women, Women In The Supervisory Boards, Female Leadership-Do We Need A Women’s Quota In The Supervisory Board?, The Amazons, and Female Leadership and Company […]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: