East germans and descendants of migrants rarely in elite jobs

East Germans and descendants of migrants rarely in elite jobs

Even 30 years after unification, east germans are underrepresented in management positions nationwide. However, this does not apply equally to all areas of the economy, society and administration.

For example, the percentage of people born in the former GDR who hold elite political positions is roughly equivalent to their 19.4 percent share of the population. Across all sectors, however, they hold only 10.1 percent of leadership positions, according to the latest research. While east german executives in the fields of security, civil society and trade unions still achieve double-digit figures, particularly few east germans set the tone in science and administration.

The proportion of people with a migrant background in top jobs is even lower. This is shown by the initial results of the "participation without participation" study? How east germans and people with a migration background are represented in the federal german elite" by the german center for integration and migration research, in which leipzig political scientist lars vogel was also involved, presented on monday.

According to the report, the proportion of people with a migration history in the population is 26 percent. However, only 9.2 percent of people in leadership positions have at least one parent who was not a german citizen at birth. They are most strongly represented in the areas of culture (19.6 percent) and religion (25.9 percent). There are particularly few people with foreign roots in the judiciary (1.3 percent), trade unions (3 percent) and the military (2 percent). However, german citizenship is also required for entry into the armed forces – apart from civilian jobs in the salaried workforce.

In the business elite, the share of people with a migration background is 13.8 percent, according to the study. Among those who have moved up here are mainly western europeans and people whose native language is english, reported social scientist sabrina zajak. Education plays an important role here, of course, but it is also clear that people with a migration history are disadvantaged, even if they have the same qualifications. In addition to discrimination, the lack of networks and ropemates was also a factor in some cases.

The researchers looked at more than 3,000 elite positions for their study. In a representative survey, they also found that only less than one-third of the population favored a legal quota to increase the proportion of east germans and people with a migration background. However, more than 60 percent of the respondents could envisage taking on suitable employees from both groups.

More research is needed into the causes of underrepresentation, scientists agreed. In justice and science, "social origin is far more prominent" than in other fields, explained raj kollmorgen from the university of zittau/gorlitz. Here you have to take a closer look at the recruiting mechanisms.

Researchers found that east germans who perceive that those born in the east are underrepresented in the elites are therefore no more dissatisfied with democracy than others. But they more often felt like "second-class" burgers. According to the study, this connection does not exist among people with a migration background. Perhaps this also has to do with the different expectations of the two groups.

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