Women's equality

More women in managing positions

Manager06Around 80% of those working with Caritas are women – however men dominate at the management levels. Pedro Citoler

The German Caritas Association aims for a proportion of 50% women managers. The meeting of delegates in 2011 recommended a quota system for the Caritas enterprise. "We want to increase the share of women on boards, in managing positions and on supervisory boards,” was the clear message from Caritas President Peter Neher. "We are aware that a quota system can definitely be seen critically. However, ultimately this is the only way to define a measurable amount and check the results.”

The German Caritas Association has initiated the Into Management on Equal Terms project in order to implement this decision. The goal is to achieve the conditions required for the increase in women managers aimed at. Together with the men and women participating, the process will be designed so as to benefit both sexes.  

A forum for exchange for women managers

The Institute for Applied Research (IAF) at the Catholic University, Freiburg, will investigate the causes for segregation in terms of the sexes at the (top) management levels. Women in management positions as well as a small group of men at comparable levels will be surveyed on their experiences and views through qualitative interviews. Measures to be taken can then be oriented on the basis of the results.

Five pilot locations, which have set-up conditions for increasing the share of women managers, play a central role in the project. Seminars, workshops and coaching will be used for this. Beyond this, these locations can send talented women for qualification as management trainees and will also be supported in the form of a mentoring programme. At the same time, a forum for exchange for women managers will be established and will be open to interested Caritas organisations throughout Germany.

It’s up to the men too

In order to bring about clear results in creating equality of the sexes, a change in familiar role images and the traditional division of paid and unpaid labour is essential. In equal measure, corporate cultures, which are often shaped by men, must change to the degree that both sexes have equal career opportunities.
The success of the project cannot be measured only by a percentage increase in the share of women in management, but must also be measured in terms of men taking up part-time management positions in order to spend more time with their children or look after relatives in need of care. Or by a male aspiring to a management position being asked in his job interview whether there are arrangements in place for the care of his children (if he has any) when he is away on business.   

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