Skip to Main Content

Employee representatives

2020 Germany Spencer Stuart Board Index

2020 Snapshot

 38 %

of employee representatives are women


years is the average age of employee representatives


Foreign employee representatives account for roughly 7%; the spread of different nationalities represented on boards has remained stable since 2018. The low level is due to the Co-Determination Act. Pursuant to this law, elections of employee representatives for supervisory boards of enterprises with the legal form of Aktiengesellschaft (AG) only take place at company sites located in Germany. Groups with the legal form of Sociatas Europea (SE) have to include their European sites in the board elections.

The proportion of women continues its upward trajectory, from 35% in 2018 to around 38%. With regard to unitary boards, which are also subject to the quota law, the percentage of women varies between 25% and 100%. Those boards where no women sit on the employee representatives’ side are mostly not subject to co-determination, or are tripartite boards pursuant to Germany’s One-Third Participation Act, which are also excluded from the quota law.

Average age and tenure

Like their shareholder counterparts, employees primarily elect seasoned colleagues to the supervisory board. The average age of the employee representatives is 53, as it was in 2018.  Provision of data has continued to improve: in 2018 ages were not disclosed for 10% of employee representatives, a proportion that has dropped to 4%.

The average tenure of employee representatives is 5,7 years. This level aligns with that of the shareholder representatives.