Women’s quota? We have: 70%

The discussion of the women’s quota is often characterized by dominant clichés and the question of whether equality across all sectors is at all feasible and sensible.

At Rothschenk, meeting a predetermined quota was never an issue. From the very beginning, the proportion of women was above average and a defining element of the corporate culture.

The Würzburg Main Post visited us from the outside and summarized this special feature in a newspaper article.

Excerpt from the newspaper article:

Baldersheim. …In this context, the small G&H GmbH Rothschenk in the remote town of Baldersheim in the district of Würzburg is something special: 70 percent of the workforce there is made up of women.

A rate that is probably exceptional in Mainfranken. Although the Würzburg-Schweinfurt Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) does not have detailed data on this, it also emphasizes Rothschenk’s special role.

This raises the question of why the company, which specializes in transport safety, is so different from others because of all the women in its day-to-day operations. Because: Rothschenk is managed by men. If you talk to female employees, however, it becomes clear that the differences to conventional companies are subtle but effective. And yet somehow feminine, cliché or not.

Conflicts are always dealt with openly, everyone is on a first-name basis and there is an everyday need for harmony: this is how Sustainability Officer Johanna Ott and Production Manager Ulrike Schmidt describe the nature of the Rothschenk company. But we can also really argue,” says Head of HR Veronika Uttinger-Dick.

Harmony and female powerHeadwinds in equal measure: According to managing partner Torsten Urban, he experiences this time and again. He and his three co-partners might come up with an idea – and run into a charming wall with the staff. Then it’s clear: the idea can’t work. We have a very flat hierarchy,” says Urban. And we are more “shirt-sleeved” than others.

The 58-year-old has observed what it means when 52 of Rothschenk’s 75 employees are women: The top topics of conversation in the company are “different on Mondays” than in the male-dominated construction industry. From his own experience, he knows that it’s mostly about soccer. Not at Rothschenk. What happened at home, how the family is doing – these are the kinds of topics that are discussed after the weekend, says Ott.

This also takes into account the fact that “we are here in the countryside,” says plant manager Urban. In families, the classic division of roles still often applies, according to which the man is the main breadwinner and the woman looks after the children during the day, among other things.

For Production Manager Ulrike Schmidt, the dominance of women across almost all Rothschenk departments is a daily challenge. Because the company is committed to sustainability as well as family-friendliness, the 63-year-old has to constantly reconcile work schedules and many individual wishes.

Sometimes a colleague’s child is suddenly ill, sometimes a relative needs to be cared for, sometimes something else is going on in the family: according to Torsten Urban, there have been up to 30 working time models in the company in order to meet all the needs of the employees. Core working hours now apply from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The operating hours extend from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., so that there is the opportunity to work flexibly at the edges, explains production manager Schmidt. It’s not a problem if a colleague has to leave at 1 p.m. because there are urgent matters at home.

We really do have a very good working atmosphere,” summarizes Ott. This is also reflected in the fluctuation rate at Rothschenk. It stands at 6.5 percent. The national average is around 30 percent. In other words: if you work for Rothschenk, you stay with Rothschenk. HR manager Uttinger-Dick has been with the company since 2000 and remembers that only women were employed there back then. The fact that it is still 70 percent today simply happened that way. A quota has never been mandatory and “does not make sense”, says Torsten Urban…

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4 good reasons for Rothschenk


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