International Women’s Day
8 March marks the annual International Women’s Day. At ifolor, diversity is a matter of course: gender equality, equal opportunities, shared leadership, equal pay, and part-time positions for women are the focus areas. However, this is not going to be the end of the story. ifolor is striving for ongoing further development. We are challenging traditional roles, promoting better integration of work and family, and jobs for women in leadership positions. The company works continuously to break down barriers and promote equality for all employees. Breaking down prejudices and stereotypes is a major concern for ifolor, as the company lives an open communication culture. Personal concerns of any kind can be raised and discussed to find the best possible solution.
From team leader to board member
For ifolor, equality is firmly anchored in the corporate culture and is actively practised:
- women in management positions (ifolor Group, Switzerland and Finland): approx. 50% of managers in the ifolor Group are women
- Women’s quota ifolor AG (Switzerland): 43%
- Age of women employed by ifolor AG (Switzerland): Between 20 and 63 years
- Seniority at ifolor AG (Switzerland): Average of 10 years (record holder of 32 years!)
ifolor offers contemporary work options. For example, part-time positions for mothers or fathers and others are possible within the company.
ifolor is delighted to have Lea-Sophie Cramer on board as an active member of the Board of Directors. We asked Lea-Sophie Cramer three questions on the occasion of International Women’s Day:
- What is your position on the issue of “equal opportunity in working life” and how do you currently perceive this issue (including at ifolor)?
When it comes to starting a career, there is now – fortunately – no difference between men and women. – in the vast majority of industries. Unfortunately, many women are lost on the way ‘up’ and management floors in companies are often still boy’s clubs for the most part. I would like us to tackle this together – men and women.
At ifolor, the topic of equality is now a focus. This shows that if companies want to, they can counter stereotypes and promote equality.
Photo on the right: Lea-Sophie Cramer, photographed by Patrycia Lukas
- What should the company/employer do to smash prejudices and create equality?
I would like to see a flexible pro-family working environment where we work 8/24 hours instead of 9 to 5, travel less, do more job sharing, and lead by goals and not time. This would not only result in more women being promoted to leadership positions, but would improve the overall productivity of teams.
Organisations need to recognise that more diversity on leadership teams is not a charitable initiative but good business. It is equally true that more flexibility and a better work-life balance is not a women’s issue, but a social one. At ifolor, 50% of management positions are held by women. This should be standard: especially in industries where women make up the majority of customers.
Understanding that we all benefit when the economy becomes more diverse will help bring about the changes needed – from flexibility to funding initiatives to Unconscious Bias Training – with more pressure to implement this.
- What tips and tricks can you give women who want to start a business or combine career & family?
Performs with the utmost self-possession and naturalness. You have the right to sit at this table, say smart things, and be heard. As women we must radiate this as completely natural! If we don’t take being in leadership positions for granted, who will?
If you see an opportunity and feel like doing it, take it! If, through caution, we always think through all scenarios down to the smallest detail, we never jump. Often courage is the biggest stepping stone.
Sometimes I have the impression we are more emancipated professionally than privately. That’s because the question of whether you have the freedom to take off in your job is not only due in part to your employer, but it also has a lot to do with how you organise your life – i.e. how care work is split, or how you define partnership and shared parenthood. This also includes demanding the necessary work models from employers and living them with the necessary naturalness, be it top sharing or also other work models that allow people with families to continue to co-manage a company
In addition, Lea-Sophia Cramer confirmed in her following statement that we are on the right track:
“At ifolor, the topic of equality is now a focus. This shows that if companies want to, they can counter stereotypes and promote equality.”
On the way up: with womenmatter/s
Womenmatter/s deals in detail with the topic of promoting women and careers. They actively share their extensive knowledge and in-depth experience, from which ambitious and interested women can benefit. In this way, an open exchange and a strong community has developed that is steadily expanding and providing support to each other. For ifolor, it was the ideal partner to join forces with for International Women’s Day. So be sure to check out womenmatter/s guest post for tips on how to surprise women in your circle of influence for International World Women’s Day.
Many women face similar questions, challenges, or dreams. It is not always easy to tackle these issues properly. Womenmatter/s have addressed important topics and also provided suitable tips.
How do I find my purpose?
- Define your belief system: It is the basis of all your decisions. Because basically it’s an assumption you make about the world. That is, what you generally believe to be true – without actual evidence to support it. Belief systems are often associated with religious views.
- Becoming aware of your core values: these are based on your belief system. Your values are things you think are important, such as ‘honesty’, ‘education’ and ‘loyalty’.
- Find your passion: what do you get excited about? What inspires you? This isn’t about solving the world’s energy problems (although if you literally are that person, props to you!), but identifying the passions that fit your persona and career path.
- Define your talents: if your passion is gardening, but you don’t have a green thumb, then a career in horticulture is going to be difficult. So if you love what you do, but don’t have the skills to do it, it might be better to keep it a hobby.
- Become aware of your skills and competencies: what things have you always been good at? Are you a born communicator, who juggles words skilfully? Are you details-oriented and good at executing projects with a kind of precision that others find tedious? Are you creative and naturally adept at coming up with solutions that go outside the box? Then great! Write it all down.
- Ideally, you’ll find the point where your natural talent and ability meet your personal passion – based on your belief system and values. Attempt to formulate exactly this point in one or at most two sentences. At this point, you are in YOUR element. Not only will you be more productive, but you will also add value and enjoy greater personal and professional fulfilment. And this has a positive effect on your mental health. Moreover, it’s often where you tend to make more money in your career path!
- Think Purpose! Every beginning is hard, that's why womenmatter/s have created the Purpose Freebie for you.
How do I increase my career growth?
- Learn to delegate efficiently: You will achieve much more than if you always take on everything.
- Work on your direct communication skills: communication is a matter for the boss.
- Seek collaboration with a cross-functional team: this is the only way to meet new people, expand your network and increase your visibility within the company.
- Share your thoughts and opinions in meetings: if you don’t say anything, you are non-existent for the other people at the meeting.
- Invest in yourself: Sign up for a webinar, professional development course or our WOMENMATTER/S circle.
- Schedule a bi-weekly meeting with your boss. Not only will you be able to get advice, but it will also show what you’re working on and positions yourself accordingly.
- If you need help setting your goals, download the womenmatter/s goal setting guide now.
How do I behave at a networking event?
- Put aside any preconceptions about networking. Networking does not mean NOTworking!
- Don’t just stop at the aperitif table with your best friend. Being a limpet will get you nowhere! Harsh, but true!
- Actively reach out to others. Listen, we are all in the same boat – and people will be grateful to you.
- Show genuine interest in your counterpart. We all know a fake smile doesn’t suit you!
- Don’t just talk about yourself, actively listen. Of course, it’s nice when other people are interested in you and what you do. But you’ll be much more successful if you take an interest in others and what they do. This, by the way, is one of the reasons why introverts are just as good networkers as extroverts.
- Don’t network with anyone and everyone. Think about who might be at the event beforehand and then target the people you want to talk to. Quality over quantity!
- You can find the perfect advice in the womenmatter/s freebie on the topic of networking.