Deutsche Bahn Helps Employees Reconcile Work and Family

Deutsche Bahn supports careers with children: a successful launch to the return-to-work programme

DB Info-Grafik "Frauen bei der DB"

“Women at DB” – Image courtesy of Deutsche Bahn AG

Mentoring programme to return to work after taking time out to have a family

In order to increase the percentage of women in leadership positions, Deutsche Bahn has introduced a mentoring programme for young managers and talented employees during or shortly after parental leave. The two-year programme ‘Karriere mit Kindern’ – ‘A Career with Children’ – was launched in November 2015 and was greeted with a lot of positive feedback, both from the mentored and the mentors. Thanks to the successful launch, DB wants to offer ‘Karriere mit Kindern’ on a regular basis.

DB’s chief human resources officer Ulrich Weber said, ‘We want it to become completely normal to have a career at Deutsche Bahn when you have children because diversity makes us strong. The mentoring will mean that the diverse tools with which we, as an employer, want to support careers with children will be used more. That includes leadership roles in part-time positions, job sharing and time out for managerial staff.’

The programme, which is being conducted in collaboration with the European Academy for Women in Politics and Business (EAF), supports the participants in the critical early phase of starting a family, helping them to plan and develop their careers. Every mentored employee is accompanied and advised by an experienced manager, the mentor, over the course of a two-year period. The mentoring programme is by qualification events to help individuals plan their careers, market themselves and obtain leadership skills. The direct managers of the mentored employees are also included in the programme. It is open to women and men who have taken at least two months of parental leave and who have a recommendation from their manager. Some of the mentored employees are currently still on parental leave.

Deutsche Bahn has made it a company goal that one in four employees and one in five managers will be women by 2020. To increase the percentage of women, DB has in recent years developed an extensive package of measures at different levels that it is continuously expanding: it is a combination of flexible working conditions, personalized career support, targeting female applicants and developing the company structure.

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