Equal opportunities for women and men are a central concern for the company!

Companies are committed to equal opportunities for women and men. In terms of employment rates, women are now almost on a par with men. However, the career biographies of men and women unfortunately still differ significantly. Women still work considerably fewer hours, they are less likely to opt for sectors and occupations with higher earnings and career opportunities, they take longer career breaks for family reasons and thus reach management positions less often than men. In order to change this, traditional role models must be overcome and the compatibility of family and career must be promoted.

Promote full-time and near-full-time employment.
Fortunately, more and more mothers decide to return to work quickly after the birth of their youngest child. Women returning to work after the birth of their youngest child now return to work after only 1 year and 7 months. This positive development can be attributed both to the increased commitment of employers to family-conscious offers and to the changed framework conditions, particularly with regard to childcare. However, almost three quarters () of all working mothers work part-time, often on very small hours. The aim must be to enable all mothers and fathers who wish to do so to work full-time or close to full-time and to further reduce longer interruptions in employment. In addition to the expansion of childcare, parental allowance and parental allowance plus with a partnership bonus are suitable instruments for this. However, it is essential that the work and care work in families be shared between the partners. Household-related services can also help to relieve women in particular of housework and enable them to work more hours. Longer family-related career breaks and the resulting reduced work experience and loss of skills often lead to slower career development and earnings prospects and are part of the explanation for .
Expand childcare and all-day schools to meet demand.
A major obstacle to a better reconciliation of family and work remains the still existing lack of high-quality, demand-oriented and affordable childcare and all-day school offers. Companies support their employees in various ways, e.g. by purchasing childcare places, supporting parents' initiatives, commissioning family service providers and company childcare centres. Companies are very active here, although childcare is primarily a state task. Particularly in large cities, the demand for care is significantly higher than the supply; there is often a lack of space and staff. Childcare at off-peak times remains a problem for parents working shifts or weekends. Almost three quarters of all parents in Germany (70 %) would like to have an all-day school place for their child, but not even half (50 %) have a place available (). The further expansion of high-quality, needs-based and affordable all-day childcare and all-day school provision must remain a priority.
Review family policy benefits for impact.
It is neither fair nor sensible in terms of labour market policy to hold employers responsible for a lack of progress in equal opportunities for women or, for example, also in the quota of , while at the same time marriage and family policy benefits still create disincentives. They should therefore be further developed in such a way that the financial incentives against taking up a job or for a job are only removed to a small extent, e.g. tax class III and V. As a tax relief, work-related childcare costs should be fully deductible within the framework of maximum tax limits.
Reconciling care and work brings new challenges.
Companies are therefore increasingly faced with the question of how to retain qualified and motivated employees with care responsibilities. In contrast to family planning, a care situation often occurs abruptly and cannot be planned in terms of its quantitative and qualitative course. Personnel policy concepts must take these framework conditions into account in order to maintain the performance and motivation of employees. In this context, the compatibility of work and care can only be promoted in a meaningful way in terms of personnel policy by means of individual regulations at company level. Numerous companies and organisations are dealing intensively with the issue of "care and work" and offer a wide range of support services.
Employers support employees with family responsibilities.
In view of the increasing shortage of skilled workers, it is in the interest of companies to attract well-qualified employees - also with family responsibilities - and to retain them in the long term. The wide range of company offers includes, in particular, models to make working hours more flexible, such as flexitime or part-time, models to make work organisation more flexible, e.g. mobile working, and models to make it easier to return to work after a break. Support with childcare or activities within the framework of company health management are also part of the services offered by employers.
It is important to reconcile the wishes of the employees with the operational requirements. Since every family and every company has specific needs, it is important to find individual solutions on site. An open, trusting approach and tailor-made solutions for employees and companies are more effective than rigid legal requirements.
Operational measures can only be successful if they are accompanied by changes in the social framework and a change in culture. This is a challenge for society as a whole. The BDA and its members contribute to facilitating compatibility through numerous projects and initiatives. These include, for example, the initiative "Family-conscious working hours", the company network "Success factor family" or the brochure "Compatibility of family and work" with numerous practical examples and the "Memorandum family and working world - The NEW compatibility". In addition, the BDA supports the federal programme "Kita Plus" as a cooperation partner, which promotes the expansion and flexibilisation of daycare opening times.
13. February 2024

Equal opportunities