The call for more women on corporate boards in Europe is now louder than ever. On Friday, Germany passed a law mandating that some of the country’s largest companies allocate 30 percent of supervisory board seats to women by early next year.
Germany is the home to many multinational companies including, BMW, Siemens, Merck, and Deutsche Bank. Currently in Germany women hold less than 20 percent of board seats, the New York Times reports.
Across Europe, Norway was the first country to make legislative moves for gender balance in the boardroom. Next, Spain, France and Iceland followed suit and pushed for a 40 percent requirement at European companies; Italy moved forward by setting a quota of one-third.
Britain has seen an increase in the representation of women without any specific, regulatory requirement, as several companies have made this a voluntary effort.
Gender diversity in the boardroom has been a topic of interest around the globe. According to an article on ThinkProgress, not all companies have made this commitment to revamp the boardroom. In the U.S., for example, progress has been somewhat glacial, when compared to other countries. Recent studies suggest that fewer than 17 percent of women held board positions at U.S companies.
This regulatory move in Germany is expected to shake up boardrooms across the country by early 2016. Close to 100 of the country’s top organizations must give up 30 percent of their supervisory board seats to women, while another 3,500 companies have until the end of September to file their gender diversity plans.