Trialogues on the compatibility of family and career in partnership

Family policy, particularly with regard to the compatibility of family and career, is an ongoing social issue. In particular, the problematic aspects of reconciling family and career are at the centre of the debate. How can the conflicts surrounding the conflicting areas of gainful employment, care, time and money for families be resolved constructively without economising families and without traditionalising families?

Our proposal, which we have developed in numerous dialogues (starting in 2009 at the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance), introduces the concept of partnership, which is applied in the personal as well as the social and political sphere. Our aim is always to combine difference and equality in order to favour individual dignity and independence as well as productive voluntary cooperation. At the same time, the family is a "public good" and at least as important as education, health, transport and infrastructure. The principles according to which individual families are organised or structured are shaped by society and, conversely, continue to have an impact on it.

1st Trialogue: Public communication on the topic of equality | 21.11.2014

Context of the trialogue

The implications and perspectives of the First Gender Equality Report, in particular its multifaceted and open mission statement, should be communicated to the public in a positive and emotionally appealing way. With this in mind, a trialogue on the topic of "Public communication on the topic of equality" was held on 21 November 2014 in collaboration with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Aim of the trialogue

The following questions and topics in particular were discussed in a protected atmosphere and discursive openness:

  • Formulation of perspectives and interests of the various stakeholders on the topic of "gender equality policy"
  • Development of key points for obstacles and opportunities in the ministry's communication strategy

Structure of the trialogue

The event opened with an introductory lecture by Prof Dr Gesine Schwan and an introductory discussion (discussions in accordance with the Chatham House Rule). Three stakeholders then gave 20-minute input presentations on their positions, experiences and own perceptions on the topic of equality and the communication of the topic. The impetus from these presentations served as the basis for the subsequent joint discussion.

In the afternoon, the participants initially split into two workshops. In the workshops, key points for the further communication of the results of the Gender Equality Report were developed. When dividing up the participants, it was ensured that representatives from politics, the corporate sector and organised civil society were represented in both working groups.

In the second part of the afternoon, both working groups came together again with their results from the workshops and formulated - as far as possible - common key points. Remaining differences were highlighted.

2nd Trialogue: Reconciling family and career in partnership - What kind of work (time) culture do we need? | 20.03.2015

Context of the trialogue

Against the backdrop of the ongoing public debate on new approaches to working time policy and the topic of reconciling family and career in a spirit of partnership, we organised a trialogue on 20 March 2015 in collaboration with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth on the topic of "What kind of working (time) culture do we need?"

Aim of the trialogue

The following questions and topics in particular were discussed in a protected atmosphere and discursive openness:

  • What changes in the work (time) culture are necessary to enable a fair work-life balance?
  • The demands for more flexibility from employers on the one hand and employees on the other are contradictory: employees want individual and flexible working hours that they can adapt to their family requirements; employers want flexible, committed employees who identify with the company's goals. Very different points of view and strategies can therefore be seen behind the keyword "flexibilisation". How can the different ideas of flexibility be brought together in terms of a good work-life balance and how can joint strategies be developed?

Structure of the trialogue

The event began with an introductory lecture by Prof Dr Gesine Schwan and an introductory discussion (discussions in accordance with the Chatham House Rule). This was followed by two 20-minute input presentations in which stakeholders presented their (different) positions and experiences for the subsequent joint discussion. In the afternoon, the necessary steps for establishing a new work (time) culture were defined in workshops.

DURATION

2014 – 2015

FUNDERS

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs

PUBLICATION

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