Podcast “The Boss – Power is Female”: IG Metall boss Christiane Benner: “Björn Höcke has defined the company as a combat zone”

80 percent of metal workers are male, but since November 2023 Christiane Benner has been the union's first female leader.

Podcast “The Boss – Power is Female”: IG Metall boss Christiane Benner: “Björn Höcke has defined the company as a combat zone”

80 percent of metal workers are male, but since November 2023 Christiane Benner has been the union's first female leader. Since its founding in 1949, Benner was the first woman in the management circle of IG Metall in 2015. She is one of the 100 most influential women in German business.

But she would much rather talk about how companies and unions are positioning themselves against the shift to the right in Germany. “Our members are the mirror of society,” says Christiane Benner in the current episode “Die Boss”. And so the approval ratings for the AfD cannot be explained away from within their own ranks. "We're not 2.1 million do-gooders." "Björn Höcke has defined the company as his combat zone. But I say: Come on then, we are well prepared." There needs to be a consensus that we want to be a cosmopolitan society here in Germany, "because we depend on people immigrating here and staying here."

She also talks to host Simone Menne about Germany as an industrial location, about the four-day week, about strikes and about feminism. Today, March 6th, is Equal Pay Day: "The sad thing is that this means that up until this day of the year, women have actually worked for free," says Benner. The wage gap between men and women is still far too large: “We also have to ensure that the professions in which women work are better valued.”

When it comes to equality, there is no automatically positive, progressive development for women, believes the trade unionist. "I stand on the shoulders of strong women and I also want to be a strong shoulder for future generations. Nothing comes from nothing."

“The Boss” host Simone Menne and stern editor Laura Csapó alternately write to you on the topic of female leadership. Analysis, tips and tricks. 14 days, always between podcast episodes. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

At "The Boss - Power is Female" top women talk among themselves: host and multi-supervisory board member Simone Menne (including BMW, Deutsche Post DHL, Henkel) meets female bosses from all areas of society to talk to them about their lives and careers. "Die Boss" appears every fortnight on Wednesdays on stern.de and the stern's YouTube channel as well as on RTL and all common podcast platforms.

Editor's note: Stern belongs to RTL Deutschland.

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