What makes a good employer, including for women, who are still more likely than men to be "double-burdened" with private and professional responsibilities? Women's salaries and career prospects continue to be subject to hot debate in society. Mäurer & Wirtz, a beauty company where women make up more than 70 percent of the team, has paid particular attention to these issues. Something which hasn't gone unnoticed: the SME has once again been named one of the “Best companies for women” by the women's magazine “Brigitte”. Out of a total of 281 participating companies, 167 received top scores – including Mäurer & Wirtz, which received 4 stars this year. A great result! While the company already achieved top marks for "compatibility" and "flexibility" in the previous year, the fragrance manufacturer has now also reached the high score for "transparency" and "equality", gaining a point in each category.
Flexibility through freedom at work
In the "Flexibility" category, Mäurer & Wirtz received top marks for the freedom it grants its employees at work. Employees can largely decide for themselves when and where they work. This is ensured by a 40% remote work rule that allows them to freely select which days of the week to work remotely, with flexibility. Meetings can be hybrid, and a flexitime model has been introduced. Flexitime is a proven way to offset up to 40 hours of overtime. In addition, employees are given 30 days' leave and are not required to remain available during time off, under the company agreement.
Work-life balance is more important than ever when it comes to the competition for skilled workers. The fragrance manufacturer has introduced various measures to support the family lives of its employees. In the "Compatibility" category, the company daycare centre, additional days off for child sickness beyond the statutory entitlement and various services such as children's holiday days scored points. Employees are given the legally mandated ten days of time off to care for relatives while receiving continued pay. Temporary part-time work, time off in lieu of overtime and unpaid leave are also offered – along with job security – allowing employees to return to work in the same role after returning from care periods.
Transparency for a culture of trust
"An open dialogue is the lifeblood of our company. Transparency enables us to build proximity and trust with our employees. Along with annual employee meetings, we also conduct target and orientation talks. We also receive ongoing feedback through internal surveys such as "Great Place to Work" and provide staff with regular updates on the status of business development at general meetings. On the one hand, this enables us to ensure that communication is reciprocal and, on the other hand, we can learn how else we can improve in the interests of our employees,“, explains Yvonne Jussen, Director of Human Resources and Inhouse Employment Lawyer. Other elements related to "transparency" include that face that all positions, without exception, are advertised internally first. The company also has a standardised application process, well-defined career levels, and promotions are based on an assessment centre with an external audit from the senior level upwards. Liaison feedback is additionally used to assess managers and HR.
Equality as part of the corporate culture
Mäurer & Wirtz has gone above and beyond when it comes to gender equality, as shown by the results in the "Gender Equality" category: the number of women among all managers at the company is 50 percent; meanwhile 11 percent of managers work part-time. The proportion of women is also unusually high at the top management level with a direct line of reporting to the executive board, which currently consists of five people, two of whom are female. During annual salary discussions, the SME pays attention to equal pay and therefore promotes salary increases based on performance regardless of gender.
"Mäurer & Wirtz is committed to diversity and fairness. Equal treatment and equality at work are key parts of our corporate culture", says Stephan Kemen, Managing Director at Mäurer & Wirtz.