The quota of women in management positions is always hotly debated. How can Women enforce better? And where must Companys start? Tips from an ex-head of state, the football team coach and a Google manager.

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Women and Career: What the ex-head of state advises

In Germany, discussions about topics such as women's quotas, parental and childcare allowances are always making waves. For many, it seems hard to imagine that successful career women are also successful Mothers could be. A former head of state, two top managers and an entrepreneur tell the story.

The Icelandic head of state Vigdis Finnbogadóttir was the first woman in the world to be democratically elected to office in 1980 – and she was a single mother. your plain Solution for the compatibility dilemma: seek help. And she says: "Women have to have more confidence!" According to Finnbogadóttir, women who lack self-confidence often fear that seeking help will be perceived as weakness designed. Or they have Anxiety, Tasks transferred to others who then do not do the job as well. Or vice versa: You want to show that you can't do without them. At the same time, many women associate power negative.

Women often lack self-confidence

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Football coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg also sees a lack of self-confidence as the biggest stumbling block for many women: “If a player messes up a pass three times, I have a lot of work to do afterwards to motivate her again. Men just keep going. " As a 12-year-old, Voss-Tecklenburg discovered her passion for football in the early 1980s, later she played 125 international matches as a national player, and was with the German in 1995 Team Second in the World Cup and a total of four times European champion. Therefore, she knows the situation of having to assert oneself, especially in a male domain. Because after her active time, she worked as a football coach for almost 20 years, also for men's teams.

“I remember coaching courses I went to as a Boy woman should teach older, seasoned trainers something. Since you have no corresponding Appear and Background no chance," says the footballer, who recently excelled as a coach of the Swiss national team, which is under her Guide for the first time in her history for the Women's World Cup (2015) to qualify could. In November 2018 she was hired by the DFB as national coach for the German women's national soccer team.

Create freedom and respect

That it is important to yourself Respect to work out, also confirms Krystel Blondeau. As General Director of Logis, Europe's largest hotel cooperation, she is not only responsible for 2600 hotels, but also takes care of six children at home. The secret of her success: "I always gave my all because I enjoyed my work," she explains. "It's given me respect and freedom to make decisions." At the same time, her children are integrated into the daily routine as a matter of course - this is also reflected in the fact that Blondeau constantly communicates with her children even during work: "I don't want to spend a day without my children, but it's also important that they are cared for from an early age like being with my peers in kindergarten,” she says.

Creating free space is also Fionnuala Meehan's secret of success, Sales-Director of Google Ireland. Every day after 8 hours at 16 p.m. or 17 p.m. at the latest: dinner with her husband and three children is one of her fixed daily rituals. She rarely takes work home with her, at most she still makes phone calls from home. And she rarely sleeps less than seven hours a night. Her recipe: she has priorities set and so decided. “My colleagues accept that because I tell them exactly the same clear communicate. Because I can only relax when I switch off Office fully focused on the work,” Meehan says.

Creating women-friendly structures in companies

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The South Tyrolean entrepreneur Elisabeth Tocca has set up her own business in Bolzano in order to create precisely this freedom: Bozener has worked for South Tyrolean companies such as Dr. Schär or Salewa im Marketing, earlier this year she stepped out to do her own thing with her own company called CORA happywear, which is eco fashion for kids. "I've really enjoyed my job," she says. "But then there was this desire to do something that was all mine." The clothes are to be sold as social selling by women in an informal setting to other women.

The entrepreneur wants to enable other mothers to become self-employed. "If you give women freedom and flexibility, a lot can be moved," says Tocca, who likes to use her own freedom to gather inspiration for the day on the mountain before sunrise. She was encouraged by her husband, brother, and friends. In general, she is stable for the founder Network very important on site: “My environment gives me the strength and warmth to take with me every day Energy to get back into the fight," she says.

Concrete measures to promote women

This shows that companies can also do something concrete to attract women Employees to support. Studies make it clear that mixed teams are more motivated, more creative and more efficient and have a better understanding of customer needs, for example. The advancement of women should therefore have priority in many companies and in fact there are corresponding catalogs of measures in many places.

The fact that it then often remains with pure lip service is due to the fact that women Job Search and careers often fail because of very specific problems that just don't mix fast with me Measures Have it ironed out: Stereotypes or the unconscious bias, unconscious prejudices that you are not trusted with a certain task or your own modesty that prevents women from pointing out your successes. But also structural difficulties such as family-unfriendly working hours or simply the wrong subject, for example because women are still underrepresented in STEM subjects.

Mentoring or parent-child offices: what measures really help women?

That is exactly why the approach of the Dortmunder ITservice provider adesso so interesting: The company that deals with Consulting and individual software development has focused on the core business processes of companies and public administrations, so far has had a 16 percent share of women among its software engineers and IT consultants, but wants this to continue increase.

The planned measures range from school sponsorships and direct target group communication at universities and trade fairs to company tours for female students, in-house mentoring programs and women's networks to family-friendly individual measures. This includes, among other things, the offer of parent-child offices at the adesso locations, the right to “regional part-time” including the cessation of travel and extended child sickness benefit. Quota regulations, on the other hand, are not expedient, adesso-Founders and supervisory board Prof. Dr. Volker Gruhn. Perhaps also that the reason why the proportion of women in the board of adesso so far is manageable.

Conclusion: Success is only reflected in retrospect

Above all, I find the “regional part-time” remarkable, since IT consultants usually have to be very mobile and willing to travel, which conflicts with family planning - and the company accepts economic losses here. In addition, adesso also offers internal further training for career changers, but with its intiative abet addresses all computer scientists or tries to get young women excited about it.

As these examples show, there are very successfully Women's careers, which in many cases could still do with some support. After all, companies like adesso will ultimately have to be measured by how successfully they have been able to implement their projects.

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