Der Peoples Blog

"We are Family".

In December 2014 we shared some thoughts on the ongoing discussion on family & career in our blog „… the other half of the sky”. We have to admit that none of our thoughts were actually new or even surprising. However, - the article had only been posted for a couple of minutes, when we were flooded with response mails by our candidates and clients. From grateful to thoughtful, from euphoric to “please more”. Highly appreciated feedback on a blog post that had not even asked for it. Yet the most important thing was that both women and men said basically the same and both put one conclusion in their very own personal terms: „What a significant, but difficult issue!”

We consider this a glance of hope because the compatibility of family and career could not be thought nor pushed without the engagement of „… the other half of the sky”: the men.

Indeed, it is still almost exclusively men who are sitting in the driver’s seat and who are in charge of boosting careers – or not. Men, who are promoting female employees directly on identifying their potential – or even not, until their outstanding performance attracts attention. It is the men who show respect and give credit to women managing the balancing act between their family lives and responsibilities at the office – or who often regard them with skepticism. It is still mostly men, and now we are getting to the point, who are not only interested in getting themselves to the top but who are encouraging women to succeed in their careers and showing them ways how to. Men who are seeing themselves as enabler or mentor, supporting women to make a career possible and not only the next parent-teacher conference. It is obvious: this country as well as the Creative Industry needs a bunch of this kind of men. But even if these men were falling from the sky tomorrow, it would only be a half-hearted solution. One reason for that is that it is not only the lack of chance that leads to few women in management positions. Another reason is that women often do not take or do not live up to their opportunities of career advancement. Why? Firstly, because they still almost automatically tend to hide their light under a bushel. And secondly, because women are often not as flexible as their dream job requires; even with the most willing or cooperative boss (male or female).

It is true: women often worry about their families falling apart. And on the other hand bosses as well as colleagues are worrying about their projects or teams falling apart, because in an emergency women would chose the wellbeing of their families over work.

Insolvable? Of course not.

When both parties understand and respect the worries of the other half willing to do everything to make this balancing act between family and job as convenient as possible for anybody. If parents did not have to stay at work in any case of emergency and if teams knew that there is a Nanny who fills in when a parent is needed at the office. If companies increased their efforts towards introducing job sharing models, flexible working hours and career advancement for parents of both sexes who wish to have both, a family life and a professional career.

It is easy: both halves of the sky are able to develop their full potential when they treat each other as exactly this: as two parts of one that only together make one great entity.

Just the sky.

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