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No need for a quota

The latest survey of Rochus Mummert Management Search is handling the topic of women in the middle management in Germany and their expectations regarding a women’s quota and concrete measures to simplify striving for a career as a women. The research is an online survey that was conducted in early 2012.

Concerning the majority of the participants a women’s quota does not met the requirements they have. This isn’t a real surprise bearing in mind that most discussions about a quota contain ideas about a defined share of women in the board, supervisory board or top management and thus such a quota would not directly impacting women in the middle management. Anyway, as a quota would be a step forward in a cultural change within the companies it is more probably the opinion of young female professionals that a quota would help to change their occupational situation (52% of the 20 to 29 years old participants answered like this). These young women would have the chance to benefit from a women’s quota because the permitted share of women in the top management could have a medium- and long-term impact on the promotion and hiring processes within the whole company as well as the overall acceptance of women in leadership positions.

What seems to be far more important for women are concrete measures which foster a better reconciliation of private life and career. 81% of the participants answered that “flexible work arrangements” would be helpful for women in the middle management and more than half of the participants are of the opinion that leadership in part-time would be useful measure to handle private and working life. Also the improvement of public and company-owned care facilities is seen as an important help.

How desperately changes within the companies are needed shows the share of women who already waived at least one time on a career move because the conditions did not suit their current situation: It is nearly half of the participants. And even more had at least once the feeling that a career move was not possible because they are a woman.

Thus the message of the study seems to be clear: A cultural change towards more flexible opportunities of organizing the work and towards the acceptance of women in top management positions is strongly needed.

This is why Henkel puts the performance in the center of the performance appraisal. We strongly belief that the output is the relevant aspect to be judged for and not the time that is spent in the office. The responsibility and the autonomy of the decision are with the employee.

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