Michael, Thomas, Andreas, Peter and Christian are more often managing directors than all women in Germany, if one counts the first names in the commercial register.
Michael leads a beverage supplier near Darmstadt and a specialist box office in Hamburg. Michael also owns a bar in Saarbrücken and an agency in Schleswig-Holstein. Michael is everywhere. No name appears more frequently in the German commercial register. There, all companies have to deposit, as their bosses are called, so above all the managing directors.
These data have recently become more publicly available. The British organization Open Corporates and the non-profit Open Knowledge Foundation have put it on the Internet as a fast searchable database. Deposited persons are represented by 5.1 million companies, foundations and associations. The programmer Johannes Filter The idea was to extract all first names from this long list and sort them by frequency.
The result shows how crass men dominate the business world in the top positions. Among the 100 most common first names are only eleven women's names. Katja ends up on place 61, followed by Sabine on 62, Claudia on 65 and Andrea on 66. In the lower third are still Petra, Susanne, Nicole, Kerstin, Angelika, Antje and Gabriele.
Men are strongly overrepresented. At the top are Michael, Thomas, Andreas, Peter and Christian. These five names together make up about 414,000 times, more frequently than all women together. The come in the top 100 only about 360 000 mentions. The proportion of women in the German commercial register is therefore 17 percent.
But that is still more than in the boards of the 30 largest German stock companies, which are listed in the Dax. There, the consulting firm Ernst & Young only 15 percent women among the board members, this number has approximately doubled in the past five years. The register analysis also includes the first names of managing directors whose companies no longer exist, for example because they went bankrupt. And who leads three companies, appears in the list also three times.