For a matter of fact our working culture is predominantly male. This can be seen in management and communication behavior, in workplace-specific habits and rituals and, above all, in Germany, unfortunately also in the so-called gender pay gap. The so-called „feminization“ of the labor market, especially in Germany, is still much more sluggish than the 21st century might suggest. In European comparison, Germany is in the rear when it comes to women in management positions or equal salaries for equal work. An annoying discussion – especially for young women – which is so important though!
Rigid career models
Women generally enjoy absolute equality in school, training and at university. They are encouraged and challenged, strengthened and supported – they can conquer the world. In the early career years they are currently even preferred to their male colleagues in some places. And then the unbelievable happens: As soon as the issue“children“ comes into play or could come according to age (!) the wind turns. Unflexible career models mean that even highly skilled women are and often remain back-benched. Very few companies allow for part-time executive positions or re-entering responsible positions after maternity leave. Strict working hours, fixed workplaces and rigid careers banish mothers to the bench. It seems almost unbelievable that the potential of qualified women in times of shortage of skilled workers is simply wasted.
Another issue are the so-called male dominated industries – and this is again about culture. Engineers, physicists, policewomen, or agricultural workers are simply in the gender minority. That’s a fact and that’s not going to change that soon. Regardless of quotas.
Most of them are strong women who know how to stand up for themselves. They laugh at chauvinistic remarks, leave their male colleagues far behind in terms of performance and know how to assert themselves.
It’s frustrating. It’s annoying to run through production sites and see Playboy posters. It is annoying when a member of the board comments the speech made by a female engineer „that was sexy“. It is annoying that the farmer requests the male colleagues at the service bar. It is annoying that women feel that they have to shine by special performance. It is annoying that the team meeting is started with „Good morning, gentlemen“.
These are no trivialities and these are far from individual cases. This is the reality in European companies that I got to know from many testimonials from women in my work and in my environment. Partly amusing. Basically, but just shite.
Workshops for women by women
These issues are on the table. And that is why far-sighted companies invest in workshops for women by women. It is not about emancipation or special treatment. It is about creating a space in which these stories and experiences can be discussed. This exchange of experiences is important, cleansing and inspiring at the same time. The women are encouraged not to laugh at unpleasant situations nor to take them personally. They learn to act competently and with self-awareness in a male-dominated work culture.
KAOS Coaching & Development develops suitable workshops for your company in order to integrate the potential of your female employees and executives.