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Women in the minority on blue-chip German boards – shareholder association

Study shows number is about half the 40% level the EU recommends

A new study by German shareholder association DSW has found that the number of women on the supervisory boards of the 30 firms traded on Germany’s large-cap Dax index is still well under the level the European Union believes is appropriate.

The study said women make up 22% of the boards of Dax firms currently, up from 19.4% a year ago. The EU has recommended that from 2020, women account for 40% of the supervisory boards of listed firms in a member country.

With the sole exception of Simone Bagel-Trah at chemicals firm Henkel, men chair the supervisory boards of all Dax firms.

At 43.8%, Henkel also had the highest percentage of women on its board. In second place was Deutsche Telekom (35% women). A close third were Allianz and Beiersdorf (33% each).

The study also said that in 2012, Dax firms paid their directors a total of €74.8m – a new record and an increase of 7.4% from the previous year.The highest paid controller was Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech, who earned €1.1m. That is more than three times the average that was paid to controllers of Dax firms (€314,000). Just behind Piech was Berthold Huber, head of the powerful German trade union IG Metall, who earned €1m for his service on two boards (Volkswagen and Siemens).

Piech and Huber were followed by Gerhard Cromme, who took in €946,700 from his directorships at Allianz, Siemens and ThyssenKrupp and Manfred Schneider, who earned €906,750 for controlling Bayer, Linde and RWE.

Germany’s most powerful controllers of Dax firms are, according to the DSW, Ulrich Lehner and Werner Wenning. Lehner is chairman of both Deutsche Telecom and ThyssenKrupp and also sits on the board of energy giant Eon. Wenning, meanwhile, is chairman of Eon and of pharmaceutical giant Bayer in addition to serving as Siemens’ deputy chairman.