The University of Stuttgart has received acclaim once again for the second time in Berlin for its strategically planned family policy in view of working and studying conditions by being awarded the certificate audit family-friendly university. The certificate was received by Dr Gabriele Hardtmann, the Equal Opportunities Officer of the University, and Inken de Wit, the Managing Director of the service University & Family, representing the university management was Iris Gleicke, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Minister for Economic Affairs and Oliver Schmitz, Managing Director of berufundfamilie Service GmbH. Nationwide 24 universities received this award, five from Baden-Württemberg and three higher education institutions within the association of TU9 universities.
After receiving the award with the certificate audit family-friendly university, Dr Bettina Buhlmann, Chancellor of the University of Stuttgart, explained, “We are delighted to receive this award as a family-friendly university and are conscious of the obligations associated with this on all levels”. Dr Buhlmann went on to say, “The compatibility of professional work and private life is a strategic goal of our University of Stuttgart. Family-friendliness in the attitudes of all people belonging to the university thereby plays a significant role. Our senior executives should be aware of their obligation to pursue a cooperative and respective management style that creates the balance between professional, student and family tasks.“
Professor Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart, added, “With the strategic orientation of the university as an attractive and reliable employer and third-party funds partner, we will attract creative and dedicated people as employees on all career levels in future. The Europe-wide and most famous certificate logo for family-friendliness is a clearly visible sign of this goal.“
All 297 distinguished employers were congratulated by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Manuela Schwesig, and John-Philip Hammersen, Managing Director of the charitable Hertie foundation. Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Manuela Schwesig, who together with the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, under whose patronage the audit is, said during the award ceremony in Berlin, “Families face the challenge of reconciling private life and profession. Children need to be supervised and those in need of care have to be looked after”. She thereby emphasised that we have to get away from the feeling of having a double burden to a feeling of being doubly lucky. This comparison became the motto of this year’s certificate award.
Measures to expand family-friendliness
Over 5,000 employees and almost 28,000 students benefit from the family-conscious measures at the University of Stuttgart. The Equal Opportunities Officer, Dr Gabriele Hardtmann, sums up the range, “We have expanded the possibilities of the flexible arrangement of working hours and implemented regulations on telework. Through the service University & Family and the Internet portal, a central contact point for family questions was created and from this family networks for the personal exchange and the internal university quality improvement was initiated. Our childcare offers with reserved places as well as holiday and emergency support have been established. The family-conscious infrastructure was made visible with layout plans; these are considered as ‘Best Practice’ nationwide and were mentioned with praise during a DFG inspection.“
Until the next re-auditing in three years, the University of Stuttgart is planning the introduction of further measures; in this respect Inken de Wit, Managing Director of the Service University & Family and project leader, emphasised, “The range of support on offer as regards child care and everything to do with the topic of care are being developed further. The focus of the family-conscious personnel policy is the expansion of the flexibility possibilities in terms of working hours and location as well as dealing with parental leave and care periods for employees and students is being optimised.“ Dr Hans-Herwig Geyer, Head of University Communication and Press Spokesperson of the University of Stuttgart, added, “In future we will make our family-friendly setup even more visible when communicating internally as well as externally.“
Inken de Wit, Head of Project and Managing Director Service University & Family, University of Stuttgart, Tel.: 0711/685-84037, email