Companies benefit from the promotion of women’s careers, but only very few take a systematic approach
FKi presents results of the 2016 survey phase
Promoting the careers of women is an outstanding component for the success of change processes. This is the result of the Women’s Career Index (FKi), which was presented in its 5th survey phase in 2016 on 8 March in Frankfurt am Main. However, while there is no lack of insight in companies that career advancement for women leads to improvements, a corresponding system still remains the exception.
The Women’s Career Index 2016 is a survey of 30 participating companies that have been indexed by means of a 40-page questionnaire. Over a period of four years, the FKi companies have brought significantly more women into careers than before. The growth rate is 29%. The companies report that activities to promote women in management positions simultaneously lead to more transparency in personnel decisions, to better family support measures – from which men also benefit – and to a considerable improvement in corporate culture.
The success factors of systematic career advancement for women include active talent management, communication of women’s quotas in companies and guidelines for employee interviews before parental leave. With regard to measures within the company, the promotion of “management training on gender issues”, “events on the topic of gender and mixed-gender teams” show positive trends. For example, “Unconsious Bias Trainings” have proven to be helpful in absorbing the fears and concerns of male employees and also ensure good implementation in the company. This measure targets women and men equally. Mentoring programmes are also continuing to gain in importance and are becoming increasingly professionalised.
The “external networking of women” as well as working time measures that were located in the life cycle as measures of the future, such as “job sharing in management positions” or “elective working hours for certain periods of time”, are gaining significantly in importance.
Support for women is to a large extent also support for families
As far as family measures are concerned, the promotion of parental leave for men has been greatly improved and has consequently established itself as a relevant and popular measure. In the family dimension, the offers that make everyday life easier have a great impact: “Child care” and “supervision of housework and final papers for mothers” have very high values, as does “child care according to
Management requirement”. Even such practical offers as “Taking food from the company restaurant” or “Washing and ironing service” have a great effect on the overall index. Such offers make it much easier to reconcile the demands of daily life with the requirements of a manager in the company. Companies are becoming increasingly creative and flexible in such family measures.
Barbara Lutz, managing director and initiator of the Women’s Career Index, encourages companies – especially those in change processes – to be more active: “The same applies to the promotion of women as to other development, cultural and change measures: Without hard instrumental wiring with standardised processes, these measures often remain without effects and only pay lip service. The balance between being demanding and persuasive is crucial. Strong commitment at the management level and good implementation within the company are just as important here”.