Very little progress on the subject of women in management positions / Hamburg is the capital of managers

The debate about women in management positions has been going on in Germany for years, and has recently become increasingly intense. As a result, relatively little has happened. The number of women at the top is hardly increasing. Women currently account for 22.6 per cent of the managerial workforce in companies, only 0.1 percentage points more than 24 months ago. This is shown by a study by the information service provider CRIFBÜRGEL, in which around 3.15 million management positions from almost 1.3 million companies in Germany were analysed in terms of age, gender and region (cut-off date 30 October 2018). The management positions evaluated are managing directors, members and chairmen of the supervisory boards and members and chairmen of the executive boards.

The eastern German federal states are leading the way when it comes to women in management positions. With a women's quota in management positions of 28.3 per cent, Brandenburg is, as two years ago (26.1 per cent), the leader nationwide. Also in Saxony (27.1 percent) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (26.8 percent), the proportion of women in top positions is significantly higher than the national average (22.6 percent). With a ratio of 22.6 percent, Hesse is in line with the national average. Baden-Wuerttemberg (18.8 per cent), Bavaria (19.6 per cent) and North Rhine-Westphalia (20.7 per cent) in particular have a lot of catching up to do in terms of the proportion of women.

As the size of companies increases, the average proportion of women in top positions decreases continuously and then rises again in large companies. While in small companies with up to ten employees more than one in four managers is a woman (26.1 percent), the proportion of female managers in 101 to 500 employee companies drops to 12.1 percent. In large companies with more than 10,000 employees, the proportion of women in management positions is 16.8 percent.

The proportion of women in companies is similar with regard to the turnover factor. Companies with a turnover of less than 1 million euros (24.9 percent) have the highest proportion of women in management positions. In companies with more than 100 million sales, the proportion of women in management positions rises to 11.9 percent.

In the analysis of the industries, the health care sector delivers the highest value with a female quota of 38.0 percent. But women also occupy an above-average number of management positions in retail (26.9 percent) and publishing (24.0 percent). Few women in management positions are represented in mechanical engineering (9.3 percent), construction (9.7 percent), energy supply (11.2 percent) and shipping (11.9 percent).

Although politicians have been calling for a higher proportion of women on German supervisory boards for years, the proportion of women is currently 17.1 percent. This is shown by an analysis of around 93,000 positions held by supervisory board members (supervisory board members and supervisory board chairmen) in German companies.

Three eastern German states are also leading in terms of the proportion of women on supervisory boards. In Brandenburg (23.9 percent), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (22.8 percent) and Saxony (21.8 percent) the ratio is highest nationwide. The Saarland, on the other hand, reports the lowest share with 14.0 percent female supervisory board members.

Irrespective of the analysis of women in management positions, the current study provides further results. If the evaluated management positions are set in relation to the number of inhabitants in the federal states, it can be seen that Hamburg is the capital of the bosses - in no other federal state are there as many managers as in the Hanseatic city. In Hamburg there are 493 managers per 10,000 inhabitants. But also in Saxony (430 managers per 10,000 inhabitants), Brandenburg (421), Berlin (420), Bavaria (390), Thuringia (375), Hesse (373) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (365) the figures are above the national average. This is 368 bosses per 10,000 inhabitants. Lower Saxony has the lowest proportion of managers in Germany with only 310 decision-makers per 10,000 inhabitants.

According to the CRIFBÜRGEL survey, almost a quarter (24.0 percent) of managers of both sexes are already older than 61 years. While most managing directors, board members and supervisory board members are recruited from the 51- to 60-year-olds (32.8 percent) and 41- to 50-year-olds (28.6 percent), the proportion of executives aged 30 and younger is low. With regard to the next generation of decision-makers, a lot will have to be done in the coming years.  According to CRIFBÜRGEL, 18.0 percent of bosses are already over 65 years of age and thus shortly before or already at retirement age and therefore a succession plan will soon be needed. Most superiors at this age work in Rhineland-Palatinate. Here, the proportion of bosses over 65 is 20.3 percent.

The manager in Germany is 51.9 years old. While the statistically oldest executives in Baden-Württemberg (average age: 53.8 years) and Bavaria (53.0 years) work, the youngest executives in Brandenburg (50.6 years), Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt (50.8 years each) are statistically active.