Historic Ascension: IG Metall Elects First Female Leader
In a historic move, Germany's largest trade union, IG Metall, has elected its first-ever female leader, Christiane Benner. She received an overwhelming 96.4% of delegates' votes during a conference in Frankfurt. Benner, who has been with IG Metall since her early 20s, emphasized the need to develop the industry further. IG Metall, known for representing workers in male-dominated fields, has a female membership of less than 20%. The union recently amended its statutes to ensure that at least one woman serves among its two chairpersons.
In a landmark development, IG Metall, Germany's largest trade union, has elected its inaugural female leader, Christiane Benner, with an impressive 96.4% of delegate votes during a conference held in Frankfurt. This significant victory marks a departure from the union's traditionally male-dominated leadership.
Christiane Benner, who had served as the deputy chairperson for years, now assumes the helm of IG Metall. Her ascent to this prestigious position comes as the previous leader, Jörg Hofmann, chose not to seek re-election due to his age.
Benner, during her candidacy speech, emphasized the importance of advancing the industry rather than winding it down. Her long-standing association with IG Metall dates back to her early 20s when she started her career as a foreign-language secretary at a mechanical engineering firm. Subsequently, she pursued sociology studies and steadily climbed the ranks, eventually becoming the union's vice president in 2015.
IG Metall is renowned as one of the world's largest independent trade unions, representing workers in the steel, metal, electrical, mechanical engineering, and textile industries. However, despite its formidable presence, women constitute less than 20% of its membership, reflecting the male-dominated nature of the sectors it represents.
In response to this gender disparity, IG Metall took a proactive step earlier on Monday by amending its statutes. This revision now mandates that the organization's two chairpersons must include at least one woman, marking a significant commitment to gender diversity and inclusion within the union's leadership.
Germany's largest trade union, IG Metall, has made history by electing its first-ever female leader, Christiane Benner. She received strong support from delegates, winning 96.4% of the votes. Benner, who has been with IG Metall for years, stressed the importance of developing the industry. IG Metall represents workers in male-dominated fields, and women make up less than 20% of its members. To promote gender diversity, the union recently changed its rules to ensure at least one woman serves as a chairperson. This marks a significant step toward inclusivity in leadership roles.