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German Cabinet approves legislation requiring women on corporate management boards

German Cabinet approves legislation requiring women on corporate management boards
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Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved legislation requiring some larger companies to ensure that at least one woman serves on their management boards. 

The bill mandates that companies with over 2,000 employees that are listed on the stock exchange and have boards with more than three members have at least one woman and one man on their boards, according to multiple reports.

The legislation requires parliamentary approval before it becomes law. It adds to existing rules requiring leading German companies to ensure that women make up at least 30 percent of their supervisory boards.

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The German Justice Ministry said the legislation approved by the Cabinet would apply to approximately 70 companies. There are currently no women on the management boards of 30 of those companies, according to multiple reports.

The country’s government is also set to mandate that approximately 90 companies in which it holds majority stakes have at least one woman on all boards with more than two members. The move will apply to Germany’s national railway and its national air traffic control agency, The Associated Press noted.

German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht lauded the legislation passed on Wednesday, saying that “we are finally giving qualified and motivated women the opportunities they deserve at management level, too.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats have been resistant to the move, Reuters reported. However, she has called for companies to speed up the process of appointing female board members and other leaders.