During Girls’ Day, taking place today, over 100,000 female pupils across Germany will learn more about careers in technical fields, including at the Porsche sites in Baden-Württemberg and Saxony.

Particularly in technical fields, Porsche is making great efforts to increase the number of women it employs. In addition, individual development programmes are being put in place to ensure that women stay with the company in the long term. A quota in the target agreements for managers will ensure that the proportion of women in leadership roles also continues to increase. What makes this special is that, despite the fixed targets, opportunities for men and women remain equal.

Porsche is choosing to follow a different path

Since 2012, the number of women at Porsche has risen from 12.8 to 15.5 per cent. This general increase is also reflected in the number of managerial positions held by women. The proportion of women in leadership roles, directly below Executive Board level, has gone from zero to eight per cent over the same period. In the management tier below that, the proportion is now eight per cent – double that of 2012. The main reason behind this increase is the commitment made by the Executive Board and the fact that the promotion of women is relevant to bonuses for managers. However, instead of setting a fixed quota for the entire company, Porsche is choosing to follow a different path.

The proportion of women to be promoted depends on the number of women in the level below the respective management tier. This creates realistic quotas for the individual management departments, since the number of women in the HR or finance department differs from that in Development or Production, for example. In addition, this approach prevents any bias towards women and discrimination against male employees. “Equal opportunity is our primary aim”, says Andreas Haffner, Member of the Executive Board for Human Resources and Social Affairs at Porsche, “as only organic growth will generate acceptance of the necessary changes in our company.”

Porsche is beginning with education

Haffner is the main driving force behind this process of change. And also Manuela Ratz, Director of Equal Opportunity, underlines: “We want to employ the best at Porsche. It would be negligent not to increase our focus on female employees.” To ensure a continuous increase in the number of women it employs at all levels, Porsche is beginning with education. In the last four years alone, the proportion of women in technical industrial training has risen from 6 to 35 per cent. Amongst the students at Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), the proportion of women is now also around 40 per cent. Participation in Girls’ Day, the DHBW “Experience technology” information day at the Porsche training centre, and collaboration with Femtec – an international career platform for women in IT, engineering and natural sciences – all have a positive effect on recruitment.

“It’s one thing to inspire women to work for Porsche. Ensuring that they remain with the company in the long-term is just as important and may even be the greater challenge. To help us to achieve this, we have set up individual development programmes and implemented a range of measures to enable women to balance their career with their family life”, explains Andreas Haffner. Home working, flexitime and job-sharing in leadership positions are key factors. Maintaining contact during sabbaticals and maternity leave is particularly important to the Member of the Executive Board for Human Resources. Here too, Porsche has recently set an example: For the first time, an employee was promoted whilst on maternity leave.

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