Heiner Thorborg has sharply criticized the planned “women’s quota light” for board members. The personnel consultant predicts that this would result in “rows and rows of insufficiently qualified women being promoted to the top”. We disagree: The pool of capable female managers is large enough – one only has to take the trouble to look outside established networks. At the same time, however, we are convinced that supervisory boards still need the entrepreneurial freedom to hire the best candidates – regardless of gender. This is why we reject the proposal of Minister of Family Affairs Franziska Giffey (SPD). Certainly: In the case of four or more purely male board members, it would often be desirable and sensible to fill the next vacant position with a woman.
How women crack the male cartel
But there are also cases in which a male candidate fits like a glove – even from a diversity perspective. After all, diversity is more about the relationship between the sexes: it is about different patterns of thought, skills and nationalities. That’s why a male marketing manager from Asia can enrich a committee more than a German financial expert (see: “Beware of the man in the woman”). Moreover, paradoxically, the success of the women’s quota for supervisory boards, of all things, argues against further regulation. After all, the female managers, entrepreneurs and scientists who have recently moved into the supervisory bodies are now pushing for the control points there. That is why they are speaking ever more weighty words when it comes to filling board positions. We are therefore confident that they will crack the men’s cartel – without the “help” of Giffey & Co.