Target Figures to Satisfy Gender Quota Laws
The German "law for ensuring equal appointment of men and women to managerial positions in the private and public sectors" obliges listed or co-determined companies to set target figures for increasing the proportion of women on the Supervisory Board, Executive Board or Board of Management, and for the two management levels below. The first targets had to be set by 30 September 2015. By 30 June 2017, new target figures have to be defined for the new reporting period, which has been set to five years by the bodies and boards of R. STAHL. This law applies to R. STAHL AG and R. STAHL Schaltgeräte GmbH.
R. STAHL has a strong focus on electrical engineering. Electrical engineering degrees in Germany have a very low proportion of women (academic year 2015: 15.3 % (source: initiative “Komm mach Mint”), with a slight tendency to increase). As part of our programme to nurture the next generation of engineering talent, our training department has been successfully engaged for years now in filling girls and young women with enthusiasm for the engineering professions and encouraging them to enter these professions. Our commitment starts early on with projects in kindergarten, progressing to "Inventor weeks" for primary school children in year 2 and 4, collaboration with secondary schools, and then beyond, to technical and vocational courses. Through these efforts, we have succeeded in achieving a 16 % female participation rate in training (as of 1 September 2018). Of course, it will be some time before these women progress to management positions within the company, but all avenues are open to them. In the engineering sector, external female applicants are something of a rarity.
When appointing members to boards, bodies and managerial positions, R. STAHL takes only candidates' professional skills and personality into consideration. Gender is not a factor. When we have positions vacant and there are suitable female candidates, either on the market or internally, we strongly encourage them to apply.
At R. STAHL, the reporting period that ended mid of 2017 was marked by the implementation of an extensive cost saving and restructuring programme and a socially-responsible personnel reduction of 233 positions worldwide. Against this backdrop, the question if qualified women may be considered for vacant jobs of course faded into the background. However, the concentration of R. STAHL AG on its holding function for the subsidiaries in 2016 led to a revised allocation of certain areas of R. STAHL AG and R. STAHL Schaltgeräte GmbH, among others, part of human resources, the training department, the marketing department and controlling. This also led to changes in the respective female quota in these two companies, which have been considered for the definition of new targets for the new reporting period until 30 June 2022.
With this in mind, R. STAHL AG's Supervisory Board and Executive Board and the R. STAHL Schaltgeräte GmbH shareholders' meeting and its management have worked intensely to come to a decision on possible target figures.