Germany: Facts About the Status of Gender Equality  | HBA

Germany: Facts About the Status of Gender Equality 

May 2021
Gender equality is defined as the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender (including economic participation and decision-making) and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations, and needs equally, regardless of gender.

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” (UN SDG-5).

Since 2013, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has published an annual Gender Equality Index for 27 European countries to measure how equally women are treated compared to men in the areas of work, money, knowledge, time, power, health, and violence. Even if Germany is the 4th largest economy in the EU, with a score of 67.5 out of 100 points, Germany ranks 12th in the EU on the Gender Equality Index. 

Germany scores highest in the domains of health (90.6 points) and money (84.9 points), but there is room for improvement regarding knowledge (54 points) and time (65 points). Women in Germany still spent more time doing care and domestic work, caring, and educating their children or for charitable activities than men. If we take a deeper look at the statistics of every federal state, we still see a difference between women living in the old federal states and the newly formed eastern German states. As an example, in Nordrhein-Westfalen only 32,4 percent of women with a child under three years are working, in Brandenburg 51,8 percent are working with a child under three years in their household.


Even if 29.4 percent of leadership positions are filled by women - the higher the position, the lower the representation of women. Women are represented in supervisory boards with 32 percent, on general boards with 12,3 percent, but only 3,75 percent are led by a woman. Finally, until May this year, all Dax30 companies were led by men in Germany. The great news is that as of 1 May Belén Garijo is leading Merck – so she is one of the first women leading a DAX30 company in Germany – we wish her all the best in her new role.

There is still a lot to do to improve gender equality in Germany. The German government e.g. has defined two goals on gender parity: to reduce the gender pay gap from 18 percent in 2021 to 10 percent in 2030 and to raise the share of women in leadership boards to 30 percent by 2030. There is an ongoing discussion to define a binding quota for executive boards of public companies. 

The HBA’s mission is to achieve a share of women in executive boards of up to 50 percent in the healthcare industry. How can we actively drive this mission forward? What are efficient strategies to tackle the so-called “glass ceiling”? What actions can we all take to increase the number of women in top leadership positions? Join our discussion on the HBA community: 30% by 2030

•    Wikipedia
•    BMFSFJ: Gleichstellungsatlas (German)
•    EIGE Website
•    The German Diplomat.
•    Allbright Stiftung (German): Fakten zu Frauen in Führungspostionen
•    German government
•    Statistisches Bundesamt

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