How employers are courting women in the face of staff shortages


fwomen and men should have equal opportunities on the job market. Getting closer to this goal is a question of justice – and can also help to alleviate the growing shortage of skilled workers: If women in this country worked to the same extent as men, there would be almost 700,000 more workers on balance Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research calculated. However, the question remains as to how equal opportunities and success can best be achieved.

The Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) is now speaking up with its own initiative: a ten-point plan for equal opportunities on the labor market. The recommendations range from more encouragement for women interested in technology to further steps to reconcile family and work to the courageous removal of negative employment incentives in tax and social law – also with such controversial proposals as limiting the non-contributory co-insurance of relatives with the health insurance company.

Only with such a wide-ranging approach “could differences in pensions and wages be sustainably reduced and the labor force potential in Germany fully exploited,” according to the paper available to the FAZ. Business leaders often go on the defensive when policy debates focus on stricter legal quotas for women and equal pay rules. In this respect, the concept is intended to show that employers do not see themselves as putting the brakes on equal opportunities, but rather have a high level of self-interest in real progress.

Some points of the concept are politically explosive

“It’s time that we set all the levers in motion,” explains the President of the Employers Rainer Dulger the initiative and states that the search for personnel for companies nowadays often resembles a treasure hunt. Unfortunately, however, the following still applies: “Women work part-time more often, choose technical professions less often and are less present in the management floors.” Effective combating of the causes is now all the more important: “We have to start with the causes of the different opportunities and do not try afterwards to correct differences through regulation,” Dulger told the FAZ



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