The proportion of women in the management of Swiss companies is still extremely low. As a result, company management is leaving significant economic potential untapped. At the same time, equal opportunities are not guaranteed across the board, and corporate cultures and structures are still geared toward male employment biographies. This is already known and must be implemented more strongly in equal opportunity activities. Although measures for the qualification and empowerment of women are sensible and necessary - the proportion of women in management positions has nevertheless increased too little to date. The assumption that focusing on women alone will change the situation falls short. That is why individual measures for women to better reconcile career and family, to increase competencies such as mentoring and seminar offerings, to implement women's networks, etc. are not enough. This is because these activities are usually geared toward women changing and adapting to the circumstances of the companies, which is often also referred to as "fixing the women." However, this largely ignores the necessary changes in corporate structure and culture.
The focus of gender equality work as a "women's issue" all too often leaves the role of male colleagues, supervisors and employees unaddressed. In order to initiate the necessary organizational change, however, it is essential to get not only all employees in the company on board, but especially the - still predominantly male - managers.
Long before our project started, we realized in our day-to-day research and consulting work that gender equality cannot really progress without men. However, until now there were no concepts and approaches for systematically involving male executives, or none that were suitable for us. That's why we initiated this project.
The project "Leaders for Equality: Leaders seize opportunities" was supported by grants under the Gender Equality Act from the Federal Office for Gender Equality from May 2019 to August 2021.
The project was supported by the Federal Office for Gender Equality from 2019 to 2021.
During this time, we worked with Swiss companies to develop, test and deepen strategies and measures for the inclusion of male managers.
During this time, the project was accompanied by a six-member advisory board of experts.
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