Saw this ad: https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/565648/women-in-tech-all-levels-at-sustainable-start-finn

With the headline: "Women in Tech - all levels - at sustainable start-up (f/x) - Munich or Remote"

Wondering if only hiring f/x would be legal in Germany?

2 Answers 2

  • No, it’s not legal, § 7 Ⅰ | 1 AGG (“employee” includes applicants, § 6 Ⅰ 2 AGG), unless the the job requires a certain sex, § 8 Ⅰ AGG, example: porn actor. If you’re a good lawyer, you can argue that a women’s shelter hires females only, but only as far as the specific position includes interaction with patrons (i. e. janitor, or accountant must still be open to everyone).
  • Advertising unwarranted gender-discriminatory positions is already illegal, § 11 AGG. There are some people who abuse their legal rights and apply for such a position, include a discreet statement about their sex, and after receiving a rejection file a lawsuit for damages, § 15 AGG, usually 3 months worth of wage.
  • 1
    This is a quite interesting case: that exact same employer currently has several job opportunities for similar jobs in other teams that are open to everyone. It is only this one particular job in this one particular team (the "Women in Tech" team whose purpose it is to promote women going into tech jobs) which requires a woman. Commented Jan 18, 2022 at 23:37
  • That one team might, because it is a promotional means, be exempt for the same reason why a woman shelter or waxing parlor can hire only women for customer-facing jobs.
    – Trish
    Commented Feb 7 at 19:33
  • @Trish What is the justification in accordance to § 8 ⑴ AGG for a tech position? Commented Feb 7 at 19:40
  • "The purpose of this job is not to produce a product but as an advertisement. Your job is to promote the fact that we hire female engineers." - How could a male fulfil that requirement?
    – Trish
    Commented Feb 7 at 19:45
  • @Trish Yeah, the problem’s § 11. You can’t post a discriminatory vacancy unless it’s justified discrimination. For that we’ll need a § 8 ⑴ justification, zulässige Benachteilung wegen beruflicher Anforderungen. It needs to an occupational requirement, i. e. relate to your duties, what you do. As it stands the vacancy was for an engineer. For an engineer the sex is irrelevant. If it was advertised as a modeling position, it could be OK. Commented Feb 7 at 20:18

It is illegal as a rule, but might be allowed in special cases.

Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz (AGG) § 8 Zulässige unterschiedliche Behandlung wegen beruflicher Anforderungen (1) Eine unterschiedliche Behandlung wegen eines in § 1 genannten Grundes ist zulässig, wenn dieser Grund wegen der Art der auszuübenden Tätigkeit oder der Bedingungen ihrer Ausübung eine wesentliche und entscheidende berufliche Anforderung darstellt, sofern der Zweck rechtmäßig und die Anforderung angemessen ist.


Basically that says that if there is a job specific requirement to hire by race, gender etc that is not illegal for some other reason and is not a pure excuse to discriminate than you might get away with it. And organization that calls itself "women in tech" and aims to work against underrepresentation of women might have a relevant requirement to hire a woman for a specific position, since a man might be not able to credibly represent their values and purposes.

So as a rule not legal, might end up in court, but they might have arguments on their side that convince the court to rule in their favour.

  • Would an organization called "men in tech" be allowed?
    – lalala
    Commented Feb 8 at 8:36
  • Certainly, that is a free speech issue. If they would be allowed to hire discriminately is another matter, because they would have trouble convincing courts that men are underpresented in tech. "Men in minimum-wage part time jobs" would probably have better chances. Like I said, that is not a general rule, every attemt to discriminate during the hiring process would be under scrutiny, and in the end both parties would have to make their case in court. Commented Feb 8 at 8:58

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