Those who lose their female leaders now risk the future of their company

The FKi has been dealing with the figures, data and facts surrounding the careers of women in companies since 2011. Over the years, we have been able to accompany many companies, some of them through the first major restructuring phase after the financial market crisis. In addition to the question of the business model, the main issues were, of course, the necessary staff reductions and the reorganisation of structures. We observed a disproportionately high number of women leaving companies in this situation – up to a third more than men.

On the one hand, this has to do with the fact that part-time and flexible jobs are often counted in a headcount, and thus the calculation to cut one of these jobs is advantageous for the companies. But it also has to do with the fact that women leave more quickly in these phases because they do not tolerate everything and often cannot be blackmailed to the same extent as men (“He’ll do it, he has a wife and three children” – here it would be nice to have a woman who also earns well – just a side note :-)).

The companies we accompanied at that time were able to break through this negative development through precise tracking and measures, for example by significantly increasing transparency in the processes, more flexibility and a professionalisation of the evaluation and promotion tools, the important employees could be retained and developed. In this way, these companies managed to maintain the successes already achieved for more diversity in the company and thus continue to drive forward the realignment of the company. Because crises always carry the danger that the (still) existing, monotonous structures will prevail and important aspects of the corporate culture and transformation capacity will be lost.

This danger exists again for companies today, because in the necessary structural changes they lose above all the employees who do not find themselves in these monotonous structures and processes. As a result, the company runs the risk of losing much of what was invested in modernising the organisations and building a new culture, and possibly being set back by years.

The FKi supports you with figures, data and facts as well as clear recommendations for action and measures to prevent this development and ensure that your diversity efforts are not lost! Protect your investments and actively build a modern, diverse and successful corporate culture – also and especially during downsizing phases.

What is the recipe for success for companies?

Digitization is inevitable

How open is your company to innovation and transformation?

Monotony is boring, drowsy and dangerous for companies!

Monotony vs. Diversity: Digitization does not work without women

For a long time now, I have been asking myself how we can better explain that diversity in companies supports innovation and change. “Digitization without women is not possible” is initially just a postulate. It is important to understand why this is actually the case.

Here are my thoughts:

Let’s not kid ourselves, unfortunately women cannot heal or improve an existing organization just because they are women. First, organizations must change to allow women to pass through the structures and create fair conditions for careers. The systemic changes in processes and functioning of companies that are necessary to achieve this also enable innovation. In this way, women’s career opportunities are the yardstick for corporate success and also enable the company to open up to the acceptance of other diversity items and characteristics.

I think we need a change of perspective on the topic of diversity!

The opposite of diversity is monotony. Monotony is boring, soporific and can even be dangerous, as attention seems to be no longer necessary. In companies, monotony is especially critical.

Being among your peers means you know each other, you know how to react, you feel safe and secure and seem to have everything under control. Everyone involved reacts in a well-rehearsed and seemingly efficient manner. And that is precisely why monotony is the greatest gateway for disruption and the fundamental threat to one’s own business model from outside innovations. In monotony, the critical view atrophies – diversity is the fundamental prerequisite for innovation and new perspectives.
Many industries need to renew themselves, the established offers no guarantees for the future and change becomes a basic requirement for success. Therefore, diversity is an opportunity and not optional.

So why not a change of perspective on the topic of diversity – if we imagine the opposite, the monotony, then it suddenly becomes clear what mobility diversity can bring to structures and companies.

Diversity creates innovation!


What is the opposite of diversity?


Monotony is boring, soporific and dangerous for companies!


How open is your company to innovation and transformation?


Digitization is inevitable…


What is the recipe for success for companies?





Best Practice by Accenture

Best Practice by Accenture – 1st place in FKi Ranking 2020

As a company, we are convinced that a strong gender equality culture in the company is conducive to innovation and growth. So we have long been grappling with questions such as: What do diversity and equality mean to us? How do we successfully shape a corresponding culture? What measures support us in this endeavour? What goals do we set ourselves? And how do we keep to them? What kind of leadership culture is needed in the company for our efforts to succeed?

These questions are on our minds at Accenture, but they are just as relevant to society. With our global “Getting To Equal” study, we monitor developments towards more equality. We look at both enabling factors, employee perceptions and management perceptions. The results of last year’s study showed that progressive leadership, non-discriminatory structures and an enabling environment are important factors. In Germany, the willingness and ability of employees to innovate is almost five times higher in companies with a strong gender equality culture than in companies with significantly less equality. Promoting diversity and inclusion thus has an important impact on the success of a company.

Equality starts at the top

From our point of view – and the studies prove it – the company can only succeed in achieving more diversity and inclusion with a corresponding commitment from management. Equality must be practised at all levels, documented with appropriate measurable indicators and tracked. Otherwise it remains mere lip service. That is why indices such as the Women’s Career Index (FKi) are a good instrument for measuring whether our measures are effective and where we actually stand. This is the only way we can improve in the long term. The FKi makes gender diversity in companies measurable and awards those who have firmly anchored the advancement of women in their corporate culture. This is not only important for us as a company, but also for society: although the gender issue is the most discussed aspect of diversity, women still have fewer careers than men.

Diversity has many dimensions

For a strong gender equality culture, we do not only consider gender as a dimension of diversity. It also includes age, different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation or living with disabilities. Our goal is for all our employees to feel valued – as a person and as human beings, just as they are, with all their abilities and characteristics. To achieve this, we follow a strengths-based leadership approach, where each individual has the potential to contribute to the success of the team thanks to different skills and abilities.

Our study this year confirms that leaders should work to build a culture of equality and recognise the importance of factors such as salary transparency, parental leave and the freedom to be creative in order to flourish. They are then significantly more likely to lead companies where people are advancing, innovating and engaging – which is why their organisations are growing more than twice as fast as their peers (Source: Getting To Equal 2020). This is another reason why we have diversity and inclusion firmly embedded in our corporate culture.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global consulting firm offering a broad portfolio of services and digital expertise across Strategy & Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations. We apply our deep experience and specialised capabilities across more than 40 industries – backed by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centres. With 509,000 employees serving clients in over 120 countries, we continuously drive innovation to strengthen our clients’ performance and create sustainable value for their business. Visit us at


Women’s careers need strategic alliances with influential men

An interview with Eva Faenger, Inclusion & Diversity Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Ms Faenger, your company has been leading the field of top employers for women’s careers for years. What do you do differently from others?

Every company certainly has its own formula for success here. For us, the following applies: you have to keep at it, show perseverance, show a certain tenacity and above all, you must not be discouraged. The following four aspects are therefore crucial to success: De-emotionalisation, concentration and seriousness, endurance and corporate culture. The questions “why” and “for what purpose” must be at the centre of attention. Many still do not understand that without women we will not be able to master the digital transformation. This is not about quotas and women’s issues, but about our future. For this we need more than hectic activism and good will. It is about creating structures and at the same time initiating a change of thinking in people’s minds. But all this happens in a very measured way. We give ourselves time. It is not about counting, measuring and weighing. It’s about a process of change that ensures that women not only reach the executive floors, but also stay there. We also ask ourselves the question: do we have the right cultural environment? This is basically a plea for change and helps enormously to have an open dialogue, to try things out and create real added value.


To what extent can digitisation lay the foundation for improving career opportunities for women? Where is the concrete connection here?

Women’s careers play a major role in this context, a crucial one according to some Harvard professors. It is often forgotten that the changes that digitisation brings with it are not only technical in nature. The biggest force is cultural change. Faster and faster development cycles, new business models, changing values, more personal responsibility – all these factors place high demands on the ability of companies to change. Promoting women’s careers challenges the status quo, breaks with traditional patterns of thought, opens up deadlocked structures and clears the way for the necessary changes. I see the promotion opportunities for women particularly at the interface with the customer. It is less and less about the product itself, but rather about a solution developed together with customers and partners. The tasks are becoming more complex, social and communicative skills are becoming more important. This is where the strengths of women are particularly in demand. Anyone who ignores this is gambling away their digital future.


It must be obvious to the decision-makers, who always say: “We’re looking for women, but can’t find any.” What do you think the problem is?

That’s a statement I’ve heard many times. And not without good reason. Career always needs a clear decision. For us it is clear: women want to take on responsibility. What they often lack is the courage to consistently take the necessary steps to achieve this. That’s why we start where the path to a management career is decided – in practice. For our female employees with leadership potential, for example, we have created the workshop series “Female Talents Explore Leadership”. The women learn first-hand what is important as managers, what personal decisions they have to make and where they are actively challenged. Mentoring programs deepen this experience.

So it’s up to the women themselves who need to make their position even clearer for a management career?

No, that would be too easy. The reasons lie in a mix of fear of leaving the comfort zone, doubts about one’s own abilities, lack of access to the decisive networks and traditional thought patterns, such as “think manager think male”. Therefore, in addition to clarity of decision and encouragement, what is needed above all is strategic alliances with influential men. Candidates who are willing to lead often do not make it into management positions on their own, even though they have all the necessary professional and personal skills. Lack of visibility, insufficient networking with decision-makers and poorly developed promotion skills are decisive obstacles. This is precisely what our Female Sponsorship Program addresses. The program opens doors, makes female leadership talents visible and ensures that they get the next chance. The intended side effect: sponsors experience first-hand where the chips are down.

Finally, let’s talk about the Women’s Career Index. Why do you think that management-relevant measuring instruments such as the FKI have not yet become widely accepted in the economy?

Here I can only speculate. But I think loss of power and fear of alienating the men certainly play a role here. Personally, I find initiatives like the FKI very important. The FKI provides us with an instrument that supports us in making career development in a digital working world fair and innovative.”


Mrs Faenger, thank you so much for the interview.

PRESS RELEASE Women’s Career Index Top Companies 2019

Women’s careers become a model for change

o Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Accenture share the top spot 

o BMW is newcomer of the year

o Women’s careers as testimony to innovative working cultures

The analysis and consulting firm FKi Frauen Karriere Index/Women’s Career Index has again examined companies throughout Germany for the period of 2018 with regard to their activities to promote women’s careers in the context of dynamic changes. A total of 38 companies of different sizes and from different industries underwent this year’s analysis in order to underline the promotion of more women in leadership in their companies. The companies with the highest index scores (between 1 and 10) will be honoured on today’s International Women’s Day.

Hewlett-Packard and Accenture in the dual leadership

In first place are the international technology giants Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Accenture. Both companies share the top position with the same index score. For Hewlett-Packard Enterprise it is already the sixth consecutive first place. “The company has accompanied us for six years now. Initially, it was still at an index value in the 80s, and then gradually worked its way up,” says Barbara Lutz, founder and managing director of the Women’s Career Index. The technology consultancy Accenture has also been among the top rankings in recent years due to its consistent management of increasing the proportion of women throughout the company. Berliner Wasserbetriebe occupy second place, followed by another double placement in third place: here, chip manufacturer Intel and Santander Consumer Bank are equal on points.

The Munich-based car manufacturer BMW was indexed for the first time for its commitment to more women in leadership and immediately made it to fifth place. “Companies are increasingly seeing that more women in leadership and the associated measures are demonstrably promoting structural change processes,” comments Barbara Lutz.

Biggest change in flexible organizational structures

Since the Women’s Career Index particularly addresses the challenge of analysing the effects of change resulting from the development of women’s careers, there were consistently above-average improvements in the implementation of flexible working time models in the period between 2013 and 2018.

While 37 percent of companies were still using flexible working hours in 2013, this figure had risen to 94 percent last year. “This clearly shows that more and more men are also taking advantage of this option,” says Barbara Lutz. There is also progress in terms of transparency in filling positions. In the 5-year average, the FKi can observe a percentage development from 45 to 69 percent. “These developments make it clear what a positive influence women’s careers have on structural changes and how they favour the climate of innovation. Those who neglect this as a strategic lever today are gambling away their future,” concludes the founder.

Assessment basis of the Women’s Career Index

In the run-up to the award, the companies voluntarily submitted to an independent indexing of their career advancement for women in the workplace. A total of 38 companies of all sizes and sectors throughout Germany participated in the current Women’s Career Index 2018. 16 companies were anonymously surveyed. The analysis included a 40-page questionnaire with a total of 46 measures on important topics such as: Commitment of management, working time models, development opportunities for women, transparent personnel processes, effectiveness of established measures such as diversity councils, women’s networks or mentoring programs.

Irrespective of their position in the ranking of the best companies, all participating companies benefit from the differentiated assessment of their own situation in terms of the promotion of women’s careers and the impetus for their consistent further development.

About the Women Career Index

The FKi is an independent measuring instrument that can be used by companies and organisations of all sizes and in all sectors to examine how women at various management levels develop in their careers. With the help of the FKi, companies should be able to take more efficient measures and thus sustainably improve women’s chances of advancement. Launched in 2012, the FKi has been an independent company based in Munich since 2015 and is under the patronage of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.


Since 2016, the FKi has also been supported by the media partners SZ Plan W, Bloomberg and Emotion. 

Ranking of the first 10 companies

Rank Company Index number 1 Hewlett-Packard Enterprise 90

1 Accenture 90

2 Berliner Wasserbetriebe 87

3 Intel Deutschland GmbH 86

3 Santander Consumer Bank AG 86

4 Investitionsbank Berlin 85

5 BMW AG 84

5 RWE Group 84

6 MTU Aero Engines AG 83

6 NTT DATA Deutschland GmbH 83

7 GFT Technologies SE 80

7 Klöckner & Co. SE 80

8 Kao Germany GmbH 79

8 Technical University of Munich 79

9 Hamburg Leuchtfeuer gGmbH 75

10 Mindshare GmbH 74

Indexed companies in alphabetical order:

AbbVie Deutschland GmbH & Co.KG, Accenture Dienstleistungen GmbH, Berliner Wasserbetriebe, BMW AG, DS Deutschland GmbH, GFT Technologies SE, Hamburg Leuchtfeuer gGmbH, Hays AG, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Deutschland, Intel Deutschland GmbH, Investitionsbank Berlin, Kao Germany GmbH, Klöckner & Co SE, Lekkerland Deutschland GmbH & Co.KG, Mindshare GmbH, MTU Aero Engines AG, NTT DATA Deutschland GmbH, Österreichische Post AG, RWE Group, Santander Consumer Bank AG, Technische Universität München, Theater und Philharmonie Essen GmbH.

For further information on the Women’s Career Index and the awards presented to the companies, please visit:

Women Career Index presents results of the 2017 survey phase

More women in leadership is feasible

Frankfurt/Munich, 08.03.2017. 

A successful and sustainable increase in the number of female executives is possible if women are given the opportunity to move up the career ladder from the bottom to the top. 

Often, however, the prerequisites for “bottom up” permeability in companies must first be created. The results of the FKi show that breaking up old structures in order to bring more women into leadership also significantly changes the culture in the company and, as a result, supports modern development. This agility is what companies absolutely need in times of digitalisation and transformation.

The FKi 2017 is a survey of 35 participating companies and organisations, which can be indexed based on a 40-page questionnaire. Over a period of 5 years, the FKi companies have brought significantly more women into leadership than the German average. The structure of the examined companies shows that positive developments are possible in the mechanical engineering, IT sector, banks, services and consulting firms, as well as in consumer goods manufacturers and universities. All companies have a strategic and structured approach to more women in leadership in common.

The work of the FKi is to make the development of women pursueing careers in Germany transparent and measurable. To this end, the internal potential of companies is recorded and analysed on the basis of figures, data and facts. The result of the company-specific analyses (index value) is decisive for the position in the overall ranking. It allows companies to make a direct comparison with other participants. With the indexing, the expert interviews, additional surveys and in the exchange between the companies, the findings of the FKi are constantly being expanded and validated.

The FKi has conducted analyses for over 160 companies with a total of 970,054 employees. Among them were 370,110 women. This concerns 18,174 managers (level ABC) and among them 3,976 women. This corresponds to a share of leadership of 27% of women. The companies participating in the FKi have improved their proportion of women at level A by an average of 4% to 15.6% since 2012, the AB level shows a growth of 5.8% to 23.2% and the ABC levels have increased by 6% to 27%.

 On March 8th, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Bloomberg L.P. in Frankfurt will present the 5th awards to companies under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and present the results. State Secretary Dr. Kleindiek will personally honor the companies and present the awards.

“It is not only the top performers in the rankings that show an increase in the number of women in the lead. All participating companies have been able to document demonstrable improvements over the years,” Barbara Lutz sums up.

“We see a clear move away from lengthy change programs. The challenges of transformation and the quest for agile structures simply don’t allow time for this – modern companies take culture-changing measures and constantly review them,” says Barbara Lutz, describing the results. Even though companies have internalised that more women in leadership is a marathon, not a sprint.


Background Women Career Index

The FKi is an independent measuring instrument that can be used by companies and organisations of all sizes and in all sectors to examine how women at various management levels develop in their careers. The FKi measures and controls the advancement of women in companies. It provides key figures for control and implementation and checks how it is possible to attract and retain more women in careers in the long term. The FKi is an instrument that supports companies in developing concepts, formulating, achieving and documenting goals in this area. In the founding years 2012 and 2013, the FKi was funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Since 2015, the BMFSFJ has been the patron and Federal Minister Katarina Barley is this year’s patron of the award for companies. 

More information is available at:


Barbara Lutz

+ 49 160 97367737 

FKi präsentiert die Ergebnisse der Umfragephase 2017

Mehr Frauen in Führung ist machbar

Frankfurt/München, 08.03.2017.

Eine erfolgreiche und nachhaltige Steigerung des Frauenanteils in Führungspositionen ist möglich, wenn Frauen die Chance erhalten, von unten nach oben in der Karriereleiter aufzusteigen.

Oft müssen jedoch erst die Voraussetzungen für diese Durchlässigkeit in den Unternehmen geschaffen werden. Die Ergebnisse der FKi zeigen, dass das Aufbrechen alter Strukturen, um mehr Frauen in Führung zu bringen, auch die Kultur im Unternehmen deutlich verändert und damit eine moderne Entwicklung unterstützt. Diese Agilität ist das, was Unternehmen in Zeiten der Digitalisierung und Transformation unbedingt brauchen.

Der FKi 2017 ist eine Befragung von 35 teilnehmenden Unternehmen und Organisationen, die sich anhand eines 40-seitigen Fragebogens erfassen lassen. Über einen Zeitraum von fünf Jahren haben die FKi-Unternehmen deutlich mehr Frauen in Führungspositionen gebracht als der deutsche Durchschnitt. Die Struktur der untersuchten Unternehmen zeigt, dass sowohl im Maschinenbau, in der IT-Branche, bei Banken, Dienstleistungs- und Beratungsunternehmen als auch bei Konsumgüterherstellern und Hochschulen positive Entwicklungen möglich sind. Allen Unternehmen gemeinsam ist ein strategischer und strukturierter Ansatz für mehr Frauen in Führung.

Die Arbeit des FKi besteht darin, die Entwicklung der Frauenkarrieren in Deutschland transparent und messbar zu machen. Dazu wird das interne Potenzial der Unternehmen anhand von Zahlen, Daten und Fakten erfasst und analysiert. Das Ergebnis der unternehmensspezifischen Analysen (Indexwert) ist entscheidend für die Position im Gesamtranking. Es ermöglicht den Unternehmen den direkten Vergleich mit anderen Teilnehmern. Anhand der Indexierung, den Experteninterviews, zusätzlichen Befragungen und im Austausch zwischen den Unternehmen werden die Erkenntnisse des FKi ständig erweitert und validiert.

Der FKi hat Analysen für über 160 Unternehmen mit insgesamt 970.054 Beschäftigten durchgeführt. Darunter waren 370.110 Frauen. Dies betrifft 18.174 Führungskräfte (Ebene ABC) und unter ihnen 3.976 Frauen. Dies entspricht einem Anteil von 27% Frauen an den Führungskräften. Die an der FKi teilnehmenden Unternehmen haben ihren Frauenanteil auf der Ebene A seit 2012 um durchschnittlich 4 % auf 15,6 % verbessert, die Ebene AB weist einen Zuwachs von 5,8 % auf 23,2 % auf und die Ebene ABC hat sich um 6 % auf 27 % erhöht.

Am 8. März, anlässlich des Internationalen Frauentages, wird Bloomberg L.P. in Frankfurt unter der Schirmherrschaft des Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (BMFSFJ) zum fünften Mal Unternehmen auszeichnen und die Ergebnisse vorstellen. Staatssekretär Dr. Kleindiek wird die Unternehmen persönlich ehren und die Preise überreichen.

“Nicht nur bei den Spitzenreitern des Rankings hat sich der Anteil von Frauen in Führungspositionen erhöht. Alle teilnehmenden Unternehmen konnten über die Jahre hinweg nachweisliche Verbesserungen dokumentieren”, resümiert Barbara Lutz.

“Wir sehen eine klare Abkehr von langwierigen Veränderungsprogrammen. Die Herausforderungen der Transformation und das Streben nach agilen Strukturen lassen dafür einfach keine Zeit – moderne Unternehmen ergreifen kulturverändernde Maßnahmen und überprüfen diese ständig”, beschreibt Barbara Lutz die Ergebnisse. Auch wenn die Unternehmen verinnerlicht haben, dass mehr Frauen in Führung ein Marathon und kein Sprint ist.


Hintergrund Frauen-Karriere-Index

Der FKi ist ein unabhängiges Messinstrument, das für Unternehmen und Organisationen jeder Größe und Branche nutzbar ist und untersucht, wie sich Frauen auf verschiedenen Führungsebenen in ihren Karrieren entwickeln. Der FKi misst und steuert die Förderung von Frauen in Unternehmen. Er liefert Kennzahlen zur Steuerung und Umsetzung und prüft, wie es gelingen kann, langfristig mehr Frauen zu gewinnen und zu binden. Der FKi ist ein Instrument, das Unternehmen dabei unterstützt, Konzepte zu entwickeln, Ziele zu formulieren, zu erreichen und zu dokumentieren. In den Gründungsjahren 2012 und 2013 wurde der FKi aus Mitteln des Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend gefördert. Seit 2015 hat das BMFSFJ die Schirmherrschaft übernommen und Bundesministerin Katarina Barley ist die diesjährige Schirmherrin des Unternehmenspreises.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter:


Barbara Lutz

+ 49 160 97367737

Greeting of the Minster for Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Mrs. Manuela Schwesig – FKi Certificate award ceremony 2016

by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Manuela Schwesig,
on the occasion of the award ceremony of the Women Career Index 26 January 2016


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased that the “Women’s Career Index” project is being successfully continued. The FKi identifies the fields of action in which companies are committed to achieving the goals set for more equal opportunities for women and men – for example, reconciling work and family life or making working hours more flexible. Companies that take part in the FKi surveys attach importance to sustainable change in their work and corporate culture and are not afraid of transparency. This applies to all companies that are certified within the scope of the fourth phase of the FKi survey and they receive their certificate today – thank you very much for your commitment.

The Act on the Equal Participation of Women and Men in Management Positions, which came into force on 1 May 2015, will make considerable progress in development. It will significantly increase interest in attracting women to management positions – not only by means of the fixed quota for the proportion of women on the supervisory boards of listed and fully co-determined companies, but also by the obligation for listed or co-determined companies to set targets for management boards, supervisory boards and the two management levels. The Federal Government supports the companies concerned in the implementation with a variety of measures such as a practical guide and a series of workshops. It is important to us to remain in dialogue with the companies. We have compiled more detailed information on our measures on the website

A central aspect of the FKi is the permeability of career paths. Only if companies can ensure that women have fair opportunities in all career steps will they be able to advance to the top. The FKi shows exactly when and where women are left behind on their way to the top. Figures, data and facts therefore become an important instrument of control and create transparency both internally and externally. Today’s prize-winning companies together employ around 550,000 men and women. With the award of the certificate, I would like to acknowledge you as patron for your commitment to more women in management positions. Please continue on the path you have chosen – and good luck!

With kindest regards

Manuela Schwesig 

Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth


Please find the greeting HERE

Press release: Presentation of results 2016

Companies benefit from the promotion of women’s careers, but only very few take a systematic approach 


FKi presents results of the 2016 survey phase.

Promoting the careers of women is an outstanding component for the success of change processes. This is the result of the Women’s Career Index (FKi), which was presented in its 5th survey phase 2016 on 8 March in Frankfurt am Main. However, while there is no lack of insight in companies that career advancement for women leads to improvements, a corresponding system still remains the exception.

The Women’s Career Index 2016 is a survey of 30 participating companies, which have been indexed by means of a 40-page questionnaire. Over a period of four years, the FKi companies have brought significantly more women into careers than before. The growth rate is 29%. The companies report that activities to promote women in management positions simultaneously lead to more transparency in personnel decisions, to better family support measures – from which men also benefit – and to a considerable improvement in corporate culture.

The success factors of systematic career advancement for women include active talent management, communication of women’s quotas in companies and guidelines on employee interviews before parental leave. With regard to measures within the company, the promotion of “management training on gender issues”, “events on the topic of gender and mixed-gender teams” show positive trends. For example, “Unconscious Bias Trainings” have proven to be helpful in absorbing the fears and concerns of male employees and also ensure good implementation in the company. This measure targets women and men equally. Mentoring programmes are also continuing to gain in importance and are becoming increasingly professionalised.

The “External Networking of Women” is gaining significantly in importance, as are working time measures that were positioned in the life cycle as measures of the future, such as “job sharing in management positions” or “elective working hours for specific periods of time”.

Support for women is also to a large extent support for families

As far as family measures are concerned, the promotion of parental leave for men has been greatly improved and has therefore has established itself as a relevant and popular measure.  In the family dimension, the offers that make everyday life easier have a great impact: “Child care” and “supervision of housework for mothers” have very high values, as does “child care according to Management requirement”. Even such practical offers as “Taking food from the company restaurant” or “Washing and ironing service” have a great effect on the overall index. Such offers make it much easier to reconcile the demands of daily life with the requirements of a manager in the company. Companies are becoming increasingly creative and flexible in such family measures.

Barbara Lutz, Managing Director and initiator of the Women’s Career Index, encourages companies – especially those in change processes – to be more active: “The same applies to the advancement of women as to other development, cultural and change measures: Without hard instrumental wiring with standardised processes, these measures often remain without effects and only pay lip service. The balance between demanding and convincing is crucial. Strong commitment at the management level and good implementation within the company are just as important here”.