Before parental leave: Plan ahead
The questions that arise: Confident male top decisionmakers the female colleagues in the return to the workplace? Or do women not have the necessary bite to get back into work?
Few women worry in advance about how the re-entry could succeed - a mistake. Because so passes important time, in the Company and expectant mothers could work together on a re-entry solution.
In any case keep contacts!
It is sensible to define the duration of the parental leave in each case and how to keep contact.
If an important executive is lacking, the company needs to find an adequate replacement in the short term, which can assume the position interimistically - and resign as soon as the employee returns from parental leave.
A problem especially for executives
A problem that mainly affects leadership positions. Because most senior executives are not willing to take a temporary job with regard to their own career. On the other hand, the prospect of success is promising:
- Is there, for example, a technically well-versed colleague, who can intervene in the deputy?
- Or can certain tasks be distributed among several employees?
- Can a part-time force be temporarily suspended for the rest?
- And how do you keep in contact despite your absence?
For many women, the maternity leave becomes a career killer - especially for executives who are difficult to replace. It does not have to be this: how do you ensure your job despite your absence?
During parental leave: show presence and develop constantly
Only the few women, like Federal Minister of the Family Kristina Schröder, return to their jobs ten weeks after birth; more than half remain two years or longer in parental leave.
It is therefore essential for women to maintain intensive contact with colleagues and supervisors - whether by telephone, per eMail or personally is rather secondary, important is the regularity of contacts!
How do you stay in conversation?
In practice, for example, a patent system has proven successful, in which expectant mothers maintain contact with the company via a colleague and vice versa.
Also a good tip: use the time out for further training or learn an additional language; Here, too, the employer could provide assistance and, for example, offer programs or financial support.
At the end of parental leave: Prepare the entry well
If the return is imminent, an open discussion including a detailed “induction plan” is advisable:
- What changes have now occurred in the company or in the position?
- How can working times be made more flexible?
- Where does leadership need support and how can it look like?
- Is there perhaps even an enterprise-internal care program for (small) children?
What to do when the job is gone?
It is also important to address unpleasant topics at an early stage: If the previous job was assigned elsewhere, for example, concepts such as a “dual leadership” (eg with two part-time managers) could also be discussed.
Here, above all, companies should rethink and individual alternatives should be considered if they want to keep their female executives in the long term.
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