Friday, March 06, 2015 at 5pm

Boardroom Gender Quota at German Companies and Other MBA News Snippets

German companies await gender quota at boardroom level

Gender quota for German companies

Large German companies will either have to allocate 30% of seats on non-executive boards to women or leave them empty, after new legislation was passed on Friday.

The law, which will come into effect in 2016, was passed on the same day that a survey, published in the Handelsblatt newspaper, revealed just how severely women were underrepresented at the highest levels of German companies, with more than half of mid-sized firms not having a single woman in a leadership position, compared to an EU average of 36%.

The move, heralded as “the biggest contribution to equal rights since the vote for women was introduced,” by Germany’s justice minister and SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) politician, Heiko Maas, will affect over 100 listed companies with employees that serve on their supervisory boards. About 3,500 medium-sized German companies will be required to set their own quotas.

This type of quota system isn’t the first that Europe has seen - that honor goes to Norway, which specified that women should make up at least 40% of a public limited company’s board members in 2003. France, Spain and the Netherlands have since introduced similar measures.

NYU Stern dean awarded US foreign policy medal

Peter Henry, dean at NYU Stern has been awarded a Foreign Policy Association (FPA) Medal.

The FPA awards medals annually to foreign policy practitioners and to academics that research and teach in the area of US foreign policy. Past recipients include Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state in the US.

The award comes “in recognition of his dynamic and visionary leadership” at NYU Stern according to FPA president Noel V. Lateef, who added that the school “is preparing future business leaders for an increasingly globalized economy.”

Peter Henry was an international economics professor at Stanford before joining NYU Stern as dean in 2010. As well serving as an economic advisor to the governments of Jamaica and Ghana, Henry has spoken regularly at the IMF and testified before both the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and ambassadors to the UN.

US$10 million gift for JD/MBA program at Wharton

The Wharton School has received a US$10 million endowment for the JD/MBA program it runs jointly with the University of Pennsylvania Law School (Penn Law). The endowment for the dual degree comes from the charitable arm of corporate financing firm, W. P. Carey, which focuses on the support of educational institutions.

A four-year JD/MBA program has been on offer to those at the Wharton School and Penn Law since the mid-1970s. However, a three-year accelerated version, said to be the first available at an elite US university, was launched as recently as 2009. This represents a saving of two years on the time it would take to complete both a JD and MBA program separately. Both the three and four-year versions at the Wharton School and Penn Law will be officially renamed as the Francis J. & Wm. Polk Carey JD/MBA Program in recognition of the gift.

MIT Sloan hosts former Mexican president

In further dual degree news, MIT Sloan’s Leaders for Global Operations program – which combines an MBA with a master’s in engineering – recently hosted Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s president between 2006 and 2012.

Addressing MIT Sloan’s Wong Auditorium, Calderón spoke about the challenges he faced during his tenure and his belief in the importance of having the right people around you to meet these challenges:

“You will face a lot of troubles, problems, challenges when you are governing,” Calderón told his audience at MIT Sloan “You should not ask to not have those kinds of problems. [It is] more important to ask or pray to have the people around you with the talent and courage and commitment to overcome the problem.”

As a student, Felipe Calderón gained a master’s in economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) – whose MBA program features in the top five of QS’s latest Latin American rankings. He then went to on to graduate with a master’s in public administration from Harvard University.

Branding invasion plotted with ‘Greater Copenhagen’

Copenhagen - Denmark’s capital and largest city - is proposing to rebrand the province of Skåne as ‘Greater Copenhagen’ in a bid to extend its standing on the international stage.

Trouble is, Skåne is actually a province of Sweden – connected to Denmark by virtue of the Øresund (or Öresund, if you’re Swedish) Bridge.

Could Denmark really get away with a branding invasion of its neighbor’s territory? Apparently, the Greater Copenhagen proposal is a collaborative one that would reap benefits on both sides of the border, by building on Copenhagen’s international reputation and luring greater levels of investment and innovation to the region.

“Together we will have 3.8 million people, 11 universities with 150,000 students and many PhDs, so we will come up as an interesting place to locate your European or Scandinavian HQ. That is what it’s all about,” Frank Jensen, mayor of Copenhagen said in report for the Guardian.

Copenhagen lies on the Danish island of Zealand (not to be confused with the Dutch province of Zeeland from which New Zealand derives its name) and, together with Skåne, is already collectively known as Øresund/Öresund. But, a region that is of vital importance to the GDP of both nations is not widely known outside of Scandinavia. The Greater Copenhagen idea seeks to rectify this. 

As you might expect, reaction to the idea has been mixed in Sweden. Swedish business newspaper, Dagens Industri, noted the potential loss of regional identity but supports the idea that rebranding Skåne as ‘Greater Copenhagen’ could provide its economy with a huge uplift. There’s even been an alternative mantle suggested, with head of the Invest in Skåne business lobby, Stefan Johansson, telling the Guardian of his preference for naming the region the ‘Scandinavia Bay Area’, in homage to the San Francisco Bay Area to which he believes Øresund/Öresund is comparable in science and the creative industries.

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).