“The question should be: Can we actually afford bias of any kind to survive in the long term?”, Mareike Mende-Ratnam, METRO AG

Flexible working hours, including for management positions, also require a new / different understanding of leadership. Do you believe that new work models, such as job sharing, as well as new impulses in the field of leadership, like the situational, fluid and context-related notion of leadership, can contribute to reducing the gender bias?

Flexible working hours or other, new work models such as job sharing, agility, virtual teams and the concomitant new understanding of leadership which is based on conveying a sense of purpose, trust and situational adaptation, are necessary adaptations. Market demands are changing ever faster. Also the pool of young and highly qualified talents with a healthy and culture-shaping approach to team work and responsibility are placing increasingly sharper demands on the company. Those who succeed in attracting versatile employees and highly motivated experts will be able to develop further along with market demands also in the long-term. The question should be: “Can we actually afford bias of any kind to survive in the long term?”

Companies capable of sustainable growth depend on the creativity, market expertise and intrinsic motivation of their employees. METRO sets great store by sustainably recruiting talents, educating them and developing them further, and thereby also gaining their loyalty. With day care facilities for children, flexible working hour schemes and flexibility, much is offered to retain talents in the long term with work duties adapted to their respective life phase. Nevertheless, we see a shift in priorities, especially among the younger employees who will one day take the place of our present manager generation: status symbols, vertical career orientation and bias are becoming less important while sustainable and purpose- or value-oriented activities are becoming more and more relevant. We endorse these developments and are firmly convinced that this will lead to a clear change in ‘management culture’ over the next few years, making it easier to convince a growing number of women and men that women with their particular strengths need to play a more active role in the management.


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