Women and Mothers in management positions or the compatibility of children and Career is still a subject where opinions differ.

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Dual career - Both partners should realize their professional goals

An important sticking point when it comes to the compatibility of Job and Family is that both partners also have their professional Set can achieve, even if they have children. Exactly that still seems to be the case in Germany Problem as the annual Innofact survey commissioned by the Chefsache initiative among 1.000 executives and prospective executives in Germany shows.

Almost two-thirds of respondents with children (63 percent) find it difficult or very difficult for both partners to realize their career aspirations. For couples without children, this is obviously unproblematic: Only nine percent of childless people consider their dual careers difficult.

Social conditions difficult

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In particular, the general social conditions seem to prevent dual careers by leaving too little scope for flexible role models. That's what 65 percent want Executives more acceptance of two full-time parents. Full-time employment for mothers is viewed just as critically by the majority as part-time employment for fathers.

Indeed, 57 percent of executives surveyed say it is socially accepted when both parents work. But less than a quarter (23 percent) believe it is socially accepted if only the mother works full-time, with fathers it's 76 percent.

Siemens personnel manager Janina Kugel: The Rabenmutter complex?

Siemens HR Director Janina Kugel knows the obstacles that stand in the way of working mothers from her own experience, as she stated at the presentation of the opportunity reports: "Ask Don't tell me how often I've been called a bad mother," said Kugel in her welcome speech at the annual Chefsache conference. Ball had relative after the birth of their children fast started working again "of course because I knew that if I was absent for too long I would be out of the job," as she admitted.

Full gender equality and equality is therefore a concern for her today, but she sees it only achieved if both partners can pursue their respective career goals and not, as is often the case today, women's financial losses, keyword part-time trap. have to accept. That's why Siemens employees can join the personnel management eMail if their supervisor does not give them enough flexibility in terms of working time. That works, because "Believe me, this call from the board would like to get no executive."

Federal Defense Minister Ursula van der Leyen: Creating supportive structures

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Auch Federal Defense Minister Ursula van der Leyen knows how important the right structures and helpers are to advance the issue of equality. With her first pregnancy, she had to Boy Listen to the doctor in the hospital that it is a pity to lose her as a worker. It was then her chief physician who motivated her to work towards her professional return by reserving the position for her for a year.

With the second child, she was about to Burnout back then, one of the few women's representatives offered her job sharing. With her third child, she first came into contact with the topic of dual careers at Stanford University. "The University had realized that she only attracts bright minds if both partners have one Perspektive offers. That is why performance is required at work, but care is also taken to ensure that both partners look after their children equally.” It is not least such experiences that show the Federal Minister of Defense how important an encouraging environment is – and that is exactly what she would like to implement politically .

Unconscious bias in the male domain

Van der Leyen also spoke self-critically about the male domain of the Bundeswehr: “We are losing young women because their superiors do not trust them to become generals and do not promote them accordingly. The officers are often not even aware of this and are very surprised when we point this out to them I aufmerksam do,” van der Leyen clarified, which is probably for many Companys applies:

The unconscious prejudices, the so-called unconscious bias, makes an objective performance assessment more difficult in many cases. "Therefore, superiors should have to prove exactly who they want to promote and why". Promoting dual careers would also be in the interests of companies, which otherwise run the risk of losing well-trained specialists: “Even qualified young men do not want to work in outdated companies. And in the end it's also about what kind of one Society we want to live. Everyone has to work together: politicians, companies and everyone personally."

Unfortunately, it is not that easy for the individual to implement this: daycare places and flexible working time models that enable women and men to combine family and career are often still in short supply. And apart from the fact that part-time or just going home early in many Industries and companies is not exactly career-promoting and it is not for nothing that the quota for more women in management positions is being discussed: German is probably the only language that knows the word "Rabenmutter".

Women work: Long normal in other countries

While it is completely normal in other countries for mothers to be employed, German mothers are looked at wrongly for this - from Executive, from colleagues, other mothers or your own family. I remember how irritated a Brazilian colleague was when I asked her how she got her job as a travel journalist with two children.

It is quite normal for women to work in Brazil, she replied. And I remember the anonymous book by a German top manager and mother who says that a female manager with a child does not fit into the current worldview. Does the statement that children and a career are above all a question of Organization, so too short?

Former head of state Vigdís Finnbogadóttir women must be more confident

Yes, says the former Icelandic head of state Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, as a single mother in office for 16 years, whom I interviewed in Berlin a few years ago. “Organization” and “I was looking for help” says she too. But Vigdís Finnbogadóttir said something very important at the end of our interview: women should have more confidence in themselves. She had to be persuaded to be elected president first

Her daughter, she told me, is now a mother herself and shares child-rearing with her husband. The little one is in daycare, both have full-time jobs; if one has to work longer, the other jumps in. "If Money earned, you have to spend part of it on childcare,” said Vigdis Finnbogadottir. And: “You have to cooperate with each other.”

Women - too little desire for power?

So she nailed it Head met: In addition to all the social difficulties associated with the compatibility of child and career, there is also the personal aspect.

In her book "Lust on power” the authors Andrea Och and Katharina Daniels show that women are all too often not aware of their own strengths, and that they often even have power negative associate. Power can also mean personal freedom. And as one of the most important tips on the way to power, the authors give their readers exactly what Vigdís Finnbogadóttir also emphasized: cooperation and Networking.

Afraid of loss of control?

But that's exactly where the rub lies: If you lack the necessary self-confidence, it will also be difficult to hand over work of any kind to others. Because only those who have confidence in themselves can ask others for help at all. It could be a help-seeking yes as weakness be laid out.

This is exactly why many women have a problem with Tasks to transfer to others. But also because they Trust missing that the job is already done well. Because she the Control don't want to lose.

More cooperation and self-confidence

Or because they want to show the boss, the colleague or even the husband that it can not go without them - until they collapse under the superhuman workload. Exactly because many mothers, who want to get a child and career under one roof fail. Of course there are the social hurdles. Of course, it is easier for well-to-do women to financially organize such help. Of course, an encouraging environment is important.

Nevertheless, I think - and I agree with Vigdís Finnbogadóttir - it is also up to every woman to change her own circumstances. So wrote a Pakistani journalist at the end of an article in DIE WELT: "This is how I meet more women in Germany who dedicate themselves to children and partners and fewer women who concentrate on their careers and themselves than among my friends in Pakistan."

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