The management floors of the top German companies listed on the stock exchange belong to men. According to a study, however, the proportion of women has been increasing steadily since 2015. On January 1, 2023, the DAX, MDAX and SDAX were more female than ever.

It is still the men who dominate the executive bodies of top German companies. However, the tide has turned. More and more women are moving up to executive boards. As can be seen from EY’s Mixed Leadership Barometer, the majority of the 160 companies in the DAX family surveyed have at least one female manager on the board. On January 1, 2023, 83 companies had at least one board member who was a woman.

According to the study, the proportion of women on the executive boards of DAX 40 companies was 21.2 percent in January 2023. Of the 255 people on the board, 201 were men and 54 were women.

On the executive boards of MDAX and SDAX companies, the proportion of female board members was significantly lower at 12.4 percent. In addition, 85 percent of the 40 DAX companies had at least one woman on the executive board. MDAX and SDAX companies have a significantly lower proportion of women here. However, only very few women make it to the top of the company. Out of 160 top positions, only nine are held by women managers.

The overall view shows that of the 705 current board members in the DAX 40, MDAX and SDAX companies, 109 are women. That is 17 more than in the previous year. The proportion of women thus rose to 15.5 percent. More than every seventh board member is currently female. Or to put it the other way around: On average, a woman still sits across from seven men.

Nevertheless, the proportion of women on executive boards has risen to its highest level since 2013. It is the first time that a woman is represented on the majority of the board of directors. In every eighth company surveyed, there are at least two women on the executive board.

Women most frequently take on operational tasks on the executive boards. According to the study, 32 percent of women are in charge of an operative business area. Six percent work as Chief Operating Officers. 25 percent are currently responsible for staff, followed by finance with 20 percent. CEO is currently eight percent.

Another EY study recently showed that women on executive boards earn more than their male colleagues. Companies with equal co-determination that are listed on the stock exchange and have more than 2000 employees and more than three board members must give at least one woman a place on the management floor when new appointments are made to the committees. Due to the minimum participation requirement, women are in a good negotiating position.

Companies therefore like to dig deeper into their pockets to secure the best female candidates. In the top floors of the companies in the DAX family, women earned an average of around 2.4 million euros in 2021, which is 348,000 euros more than men.