Simple, but brilliant idea!
Mechtild Düsing, a German Women Lawyers Association (djb) member, was irritated and annoyed that the Supervisory and Executive Boards of companies she holds shares in consisted almost exclusively of men. Being a lawyer, she looked into the German Federal Companies Act (§ 131 Aktiengesetz) and learned that it was sufficient to hold one single share in order to make use of the shareholder’s right to information on company–related matters in the annual general meeting (AGM). She started to question the Board on the representation of women in the Supervisory Board, in executive positions in the companies and on the related measures the companies have taken or would take in order to improve the representation of women on their boards.
This initiative developed into the successful national project of the German Women Lawyers Association (djb) “Women Shareholders Demand Gender Equality“, which was quoted by the Financial Times Germany as “the most high profile campaign ever experienced by German attendees of annual general meetings” (Kessler, Gregor/Smolka, Klaus-Max: Hohe Nachfragequote, in: Financial Times Germany from 10.5.2010).