January 10, 2018 / 10:06 AM / a year ago

Odds stacked against women in German finance jobs, study says

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Women occupied only around 9 percent of top management jobs in Germany’s finance industry in 2017, and the pace at which the gender gap is narrowing has slowed in recent years, according to a study on Wednesday.

Only one of Germany’s larger private banks was chaired by a woman last year, down from two in 2016, according to the study by the German Institute for Economic Research, or DIW.

That position is held by Carola Graefin von Schmettow, of HSBC Trinkhaus & Burkhardt.

“In no other industry is it so unlikely for women to reach a position at the level of the board or just beneath,” DIW said in its report, which encompasses 100 top banks and 60 large insurers.

The paucity of women in leadership roles contrasts sharply with the broader financial sector workforce. For years, bank and insurance staff have hovered at around 60 percent women, the study said.

Based on the pace of women moving into management roles between 2006 and 2017, DIW said it would take another 70 years to reach equal representation.

In Germany’s banking sector, women accounted for 8.9 percent of top management jobs last year, compared with 8.2 percent in 2016. At insurers, the gender gap actually widened in 2017, with the proportion of women in top jobs at 9.3 percent versus 9.8 percent a year earlier.

A decision by Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) in 2010 to impose a quota of 30 percent for women in leadership increased pressure for German companies to offer more management roles to women, DIW said. But that pressure has since eased, DIW said.

Compared to management boards, supervisory boards of German financial companies consist of a greater number of women since a 2015 law dictating women occupy 30 percent of seats of listed companies. On the whole, the goal is still a work in progress, however, with woman making up 23 percent of bank boards and 22 percent of insurance boards in 2017.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Catherine Evans

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