This Wednesday, 8th March, is the anniversary of the International Women’s Day. Time to take stock of what has been achieved in the meantime (or not) in the press. CEOs of large corporations tell about their programs for the promotion of women, about “signs of hope”, and about the goals they will set for themselves once again. A short look at the statistics reveals a stagnation of women in management positions in Switzerland since 2011.
Please allow me a “black-and-white” statement for once. I believe that the achievement of this goal makes is necessary to define and implement programs and measures with focus on women AS WELL AS on men alike.
… and please allow me as well to limit my observations in this matter on the reconciliation of work and family life of managers.
… and also please forgive me narrowing myself down on two short trains of thought, theoretically easy to implement. Trains of thought, referring to a real choice for mothers and fathers. Trains of thought, including the increasing trend toward part-time work of both sexes and the trend that fathers would like to take mort part in their children’s development.
1. „Part-time management positions are common.“
In the majority of the companies I used to work for, a reduction of the workload meant a career killer – officially or unofficially. This was the case for female and male managers likewise. The belief, that management duties with the accompanying tasks and responsibilities can only be accomplished with a 100% workload, seems to be deeply rooted.
As a full-time manager, I have been traveling quite a lot, being available for my team three days a week on average. Without more ado I have been able to fulfill my duties and responsibilities.
Tasks can be delegated and responsibilities can be assigned. The people your are leading have strengths and potentials, valid to be strengthened and to be exploited. Managers in companies are important, but not elementary.
Once it is common in companies, that female and male managers are able to work part-time, mothers and fathers can carry on with their career path AND fulfill family demands.
2. „Female and male managers earn equally.“
In recent years I have noticed, that the expectant mothers and fathers in my circle of friends and acquaintances have been asking the same old questions. Who of the two will reduce its workload? Who earns more? In todays time, the calculation is quickly made.
If female and male managers earned equally, they would have a real choice. Does only one reduce its workload or both? Gender-neutral wage formulas, e.g. consisting of educations, responsibility, experience, skills and so on would make it possible.
… and please allow me a somewhat provocative question for self-reflexion in a wider context at the end. Why do we men and women in this country get excited about the culture of refugees of muslim countries, when we are not riding the wave of success and change in gender equality in truth?