Ceramics manufacturer Villeroy & Boch has been around since 1748, but it recently faced a very contemporary problem. The company was forced to leave a position on its supervisory board vacant for several months, because it was unable to find a qualified female candidate.
Franziska Giffey, Germany’s minister of family affairs, said Villeroy & Boch’s problem was good news, a sign that the country’ mandatory quotas on women’s representation were working. “Old boys clubs in management are unfair and unmodern,” said Ms. Giffey, whose brief includes equality and women’s issues.
Monika Schulz-Strelow, head of FiDAR, a group campaigning to see more women
in the boardroom, also welcomed the news. “That vacant seat showed that the law has more teeth than we thought,” she said. Firms without women at the top were risking damage to their corporate image, she added.