Work-Life Balance: supporting women in management and specialist career paths

  • Logo der Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe
    Name of the company
    NÜRNBERGER Versicherungsgruppe
    Corporate headquarters
    Germany
    Size and sector
    Total number of employees: 3,757 (2,697 office-based staff, 979 sales force and 81 trainees)

Background to introducing the measure

Given the background of demographic change and the accompanying shortage of specialist staff, NÜRNBERGER has set itself the target of promoting women to specialist and management positions. To that end the „Women in management and specialist career paths“ project was launched in early 2014, in which various instruments were devised. In the medium- to long-term these are intended to contribute to increasing the proportion of women in management posts.

Implementation date/duration

The project duration was 1.5 years, from January 2014 to June 2015. During the project phase, some measures have already been rolled out, while other measures were only devised during the project with implementation now being realised in the coming months. Fundamentally, responsibility for the issue of promoting women continues to sit with HR. New ideas capable of supporting women in management posts, are also being developed and implemented in this area via the action plan from the audit berufundfamilie.

Partners involved

We are pleased to accept suggestions on the topics of balancing work and family life and other social benefits from the Works Council and from the trade union at any time. In addition, in many cases we also use participation by our staff via workshops for devising new measures or updating existing ones. Many measures also do not need to be written into company agreements due to the fact that we are in constant dialogue with the committees and maintain a partnership-based dialogue. Instead we use this flexibility to adapt measures in accordance with the target groups. These measures may come from the employer or from the trade union, Works Council or employee side.

Object of the measure

The project was structured as three subprojects:

  • Basic conditions for balancing work and family life
  • Anchorage in management and corporate culture
  • Management competence/Staff development

In terms of the basic conditions, the number of staff places in childcare facilities close to company locations was expanded, as were the co-operations over holiday childcare. In addition, it was possible to identify solutions for emergency childcare and emergency adult care of relatives. NÜRNBERGER now also offers the opportunity of teleworking, which enables many parents to return to work more quickly, with more weekly hours. We have intensified our parental leave counselling and also developed a brochure for families. The NÜRNBERGER re-entry programme is a means of supporting managers and staff in planning a family-induced time out and a managed return to work.

The involvement of the Executive Board was an important success factor in the subproject „Anchorage in management and corporate culture“. This was where the target ratios for the women's quota was devised and approved, together with the communications strategy to raise awareness amongst all managers and employees. Additionally, basic conditions for management as a part-time post were devised. Via clear communication in the internal media and in presenting female role models and their experience as successful managers at NÜRNBERGER, the aim is to actively address women and encourage them to decide on pursuing a career in management.

Options for networking for women were created in the area of Management competence/Staff development. Additionally, a mentoring programme devised for women is set to be implemented in the near future. It may also see piloting of special seminar and coaching offers.

Effects and benefits realised

At present, it is not possible to give a quantitative assessment of the benefits realised. The measures will not take effect immediately, but only in the medium- to long-term.

Key success factors/obstacles

An unquantifiable benefit can be stated: Through the participation of various female employees in the workshops, the involvement of the Executive Board in the project steering committee and the in-house communications, there is a perceptible increase in awareness of and openness to the issue.