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Board sharing at VW

Sometimes, by looking at men in leadership positions you learn most about recruiting women.

Following the departure of Herbert Diess, the CEO of Porsche is now also taking over the management of the entire VW Group. When I heard about this, I thought, 'There we are discussing job sharing at board level and, conversely, at VW they are introducing board sharing for two jobs.' despite 'bizarre constellations' and conflicts of interest in the supervisory board, according to SPIEGEL. Why put up with it? 'His manners were a decisive argument for promoting him to one of the most powerful industrial bosses in the world.' His predecessor, Diess, had made the move into e-mobility, but had repeatedly fallen out with works and supervisory councils, he said. Blume is now expected to 'reconcile the quarreling board and reassure the workforce.' What's interesting to me is what spoke against him before: 'Blume lacked the unconditional will to power that Diess had once used to sweep himself to the top of VW.'

Sure, the top of German car companies is an endurance test. Still, I wonder: how likely is it that women will coup their way to power? Is an unconditional will to power a suitable criterion for the top? And if, like VW, you dare to change the culture at the top - forced to do so by sources of conflict within the company - how many women would dare to lead two major companies at the same time? At the moment, they don't even apply for a management job. Two labor market researchers from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg have now discovered that in the ten percent of companies that pay the highest salaries, 65 percent of all applicants are male and only 35 percent are female, as reported by DIE ZEIT. The reason for the deterrence, according to the study authors, is family-unfriendly conditions such as irregular working hours, overtime, frequent business trips or night shifts. The finding is banal: Top candidates are often mothers.

Fränzi Kühne is the founder of TLGG, a former member of the supervisory board of Freenet AG and a mother. Now the news recently made the rounds that she is sharing the post of Chief Digital Officer at edding with her former colleague Boontham Temaismithi. edding CEO Per Ledermann, the son of the company's co-founder, had something exciting to say about this to 'In the discussions, we quickly realized that we were very limiting ourselves with a standard working model of five days-a-week. Many top people today simply have different life models.' I think to attract more women, a lot will be done if we free the management day from unnecessary travel and evening presence times. To close the loop: In Wolfsburg, that's probably what's needed now, too.

About the author

Dr. Sebastian Tschentscher finds the best digital minds for your company with his executive search boutique "Digital Minds".

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