Women at the Top
A film by Marita Neher
Germany | 2018 (in production) | Documentary | 53 min
Is the women’s quota an inconvenient-yet-necessary crutch for professional success? To women really still have to out themselves and talk about their gender and explain their motivations? The women’s quota may have sparked a debate and a new dynamic in supervisory and administrative boards, but a truly revolutionary upheaval at the executive level has failed to occur. Are the structures to blame or perhaps the women themselves? In Germany, a women’s quota of 30% was introduced in 2015; in France, a female share of 40% has been law since 2011. Failure to meet this quota in France results in fines of up to 90,000€.
In Spain on the other hand, the ultimate anti-quota country, career women remain a rarity. So far, no political party exists that would initiate a quota law. Quality shines through, they say – not quotas. Obsolete clichés circulate: women aren’t competitive enough, assertive enough, and among the established male-dominated management, they quickly run into the infamous glass ceiling. Three top managers – Anka Wittenberg, Senior Vice President of SAP Germany; Fanny Letier, Executive Director of the investment bank Bpifrance; and Maria Luisa de Contes, General Secretary and Legal Director of Renault Spain – afford deep insights into their everyday lives both professional and personal, speaking openly about where we as European society are today, and about the issues of equal opportunity and gender-based discrimination.