Gender equality is not only a basic right, but also an enrichment for both society and companies. For this reason, Roche's objectives include fostering equal opportunities, helping women reach leadership positions, and promoting flexible models for balancing family and career.
A range of measures have already been introduced to specifically promote women, for example through talent pools, special workshops or informal lunches with senior management. The goal is a corporate culture in which women and men meet on equal footing as a matter of course.
By signing the "Equality Charter" on the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March 2016, Roche reaffirmed its goal of striving for equal opportunities, fairness and tolerance.
Employees give an insight into how they balance family and work
"I was on parental leave for a few months already last year, and I am currently planning to take a little time off again in 2018 because we've had our second child this year. It was mostly older male colleagues who congratulated me because it would have been unthinkable for a man to stay at home with the kids when they were in this situation. However, I think it is also up to everyone how they arrange their organization. In a well-functioning company, with a good temporary replacement, taking off several months should be easily doable. And this is what I did. My advice for all the fathers out there: Just dare to do it, be transparent with your boss and your team. Together with your supervisor, create a plan for covering the transition period – be it two, six or twelve months."
"It was already clear to me at a very early stage that I wanted to return to my old job as team manager in Facility Management after the birth of my child. With this in mind, I expressed my wishes to my line managers and was given their full support from the outset. I returned to work in October 2015 and have continued to manage my team, despite only working half days.
Of course it isn’t always easy to find the right balance between work and family. A lot changes when you have a child and you have to be very organised as a working mother. For example, I always schedule meetings at which my presence is essential for the mornings. And if meetings take up a whole day, which certainly happens from time to time, then I arrange in advance for someone to look after my child. In addition, my colleagues can contact me by e-mail or telephone if required and I know that I can trust my team to do a brilliant job when I’m not there.
I certainly haven’t experienced any prejudices or objections to the fact that I work half days."
“Since April, I have reduced my working hours to 20 hours a week in order to spend more time with my children, and also in order to be able to support them more in school. That is why they no longer go to after-school childcare, which eliminates vacation childcare. The Parent-Child-Office allows me to be at the office even during school vacations, and still keep an eye on my two daughters. It is a great help from Roche that I can organize my workday in a flexible manner and, if necessary, also bring my children to work with me. In addition, the Parent-Child-Office is very nicely equipped, and even older children like the playroom. It is definitely a good alternative if I have to be on site for discussions or meetings and don't have anyone who can watch the children. This allows me to still balance work and family, after all.”
“As my husband is self-employed and thus, flexible, I can keep working fulltime at Roche even with two small children. As I have a relatively large family, there is also always a backup for the backup. That is why, at work, I can always rely 100% on my kids being well taken care of, and I am totally productive. But during my time off, I can leave it all completely behind and spend quality time with my two boys. Of course, not everyone is able to live this model. My advantage is that I have a large family that always supports me. But at Roche specifically, there is active support for handling everyday work even with children. It is important to always plan carefully, and to be ready for all kinds of emergencies, approaching the issue with emotional distance. But generally, I would encourage everyone to try and keep working fulltime, even with children.”