By Maitane Sardon
Continental AG (CON.XE) is aiming to raise the proportion of women at upper-management levels to 25% by 2025, the German automotive manufacturer said Friday.
To increase its proportion of women in upper-management positions, which is currently 15%, Continental said its executive board has voluntarily decided to introduce its own target for its plants worldwide.
"Diversity is the catalyst for pioneering developments, which is why promoting diversity--and, in turn, promoting women--is critical to our future success," Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart said.
He said the current level of 15% women in the two upper-management levels is something "to be proud of for an industrial company."
Continental said it supports women and offers "the necessary conditions" to allow female employees to combine family and career.
Ariane Reinhart, a member of Continental's executive board, said the company needs to do more than "just put women in management positions."
"We have to develop and prepare women for this, give them the proper support and, above all, offer appropriate work arrangements," she said.
Previous research has supported the case for gender diversity in senior positions. In 2016, the CS Gender 3000 report conducted by the Credit Suisse Research Institute looked at 3,400 companies across countries and industries, concluding that greater representation of women in senior roles is linked to "excess stock market returns and superior corporate profitability".
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