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Living compatibility - but how?!

15th October 2022

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"Superheroine" Sandra Westermann tells us what it means to combine family and career.

Living compatibility - but how?!

Balancing job and family is not that easy. You can read here how it can still work and what a job in the IT industry has to do with it!

A fulfilled couple and family life, time for yourself and friends and at the same time a satisfying job: Puuuh, especially for new parents a big challenge that has to be mastered. Officially, the dream state is the compatibility of family and work. According to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, this occurs when you tick the following points:

  • a secure financial livelihood

  • family-friendly working conditions

  • good quality and needs-based childcare

Childcare is a legal requirement in Germany – even if implementation is still lacking in some places. That leaves the other two adjustment screws that you can turn. Flexibility and good pay are the magic words here: When choosing a job, make sure that you can work part-time, mobile or otherwise flexibly. "In terms of flexibility and good pay, the IT industry is a pioneer," tells us Sandra Westermann, founder of Superheldin.io, the job search engine for family-friendly companies. According to the careers magazine Unicum, IT experts are in third place among the best-paid jobs in Germany in 2022 - right after doctors and astronauts. Unlike these, as an IT specialist you can usually divide up your tasks freely and do a lot of things remotely - very practical if, for example, you just have a sick child at home.

Find family-friendly businesses

But you can also find something outside of the IT industry and live your dream of compatibility. Where do you find family-friendly businesses? "The easiest way is directly with us," says Sandra Westermann. “In the last four years we have built up a wealth of experience here. Through discussions, we always know exactly how serious a company is. It is now also the case that companies that are not family-friendly or do not want to address our target group do not even contact us,” she explains.

Compatibility of family and work - a topic for mothers?!

Compatibility is not yet possible all by itself. What stands in the way of the whole thing: the role model. "Even today, women have to decide between career and family," reports Sandra Westermann. "We keep getting messages from women who lose their jobs during parental leave or are sidelined professionally due to maternity."
If you take a look at the statistics on parental allowance, it becomes clear that mothers continue to do the lion's share of childcare in the first few years. According to the Federal Statistical Office, almost 1.9 million people claimed parental allowance in Germany in 2021 - 1.4 million of them were women. The proportion of fathers who receive parental allowance is increasing, but slowly. On average, women take 14.5 months of parental leave, while fathers take an average of just 3.7 months. The figures for part-time work are similar. According to Eurostat data, more than 47% of women work part-time in Germany. For men it is only 10.7%. To put it plainly, this means that child-rearing and care work is female-dominated, and the issue of reconciling family and career mostly depends on the mothers.

In this way, family and work can be reconciled in everyday family life

Sandra Westermann advises anyone who wants to live the compatibility of family and career in everyday life to have open discussions in partnership and family. Tasks should be clearly distributed in order to reduce the mental load of the mothers and make it easier to combine them. An example: “Dad takes care of the food on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – mum doesn’t have to think about what’s available, what she still has to buy and when she’ll prepare it. In this way, you can distribute many of the everyday tasks within the family in order to reduce the burden on the mothers,” says Sandra Westermann.

Equal opportunities - for everyone!

Equal opportunities are the key to reconciling family and career - "in both directions," says Sandra Westermann. Fathers are still often the main earners in families. "Therefore, for economic reasons alone, many do not have the option of taking longer parental leave or choosing a part-time work model," she explains. Many also feared negative effects on their careers. Westermann's demand: "Fathers must be able to work for families without prejudice". And: "Only when women receive the same salary and equal professional opportunities can the family freely decide which work model to choose: father part-time and mother full-time, both part-time,..."

Your path to a compatible professional life

Many of the conditions that Sandra Westermann formulates are given in the field of IT: The working hours are flexible, remote or home office have been learned for years - and the pay is right too! So what are you waiting for? If you are currently on parental leave and notice: Your old job no longer fits your new everyday life - then our Data Practitioner Bootcamp is made for you: In 23 weeks we will get you in shape for your next career leap! Full speed ahead - and part-time! Because we want to prove: With the right skills, you can live compatibility and make your dreams come true. And that is completely independent of the path you have taken so far. We work for a diverse world where nobody is too old or has too many children. Let's code the rainbow 🌈


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