As we flagged earlier this year, IG Metall voted this week to make Christiane Benner its new general secretary, the first woman to hold the post. She succeeds Joerg Hoffman after eight years as his deputy. She was elected with 96.4% of the votes.
Benner becomes the latest woman to head a major trade union, after Sophie Binet and Marylise Leon were choses to head the CGT and CFDT respectively in France. The two biggest unions in the UK are led by woman, Sharon Graham at Unite and Christina McAnea at Unison. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is led by the Irish trade unionist, Esther Lynch. This is a very big turnaround from twenty years ago when you would be hard put to find a woman in any position of authority in a trade union.