We don't do things by halves - getIT


We don't do things by halves

What happens if the Head of Retention becomes pregnant? Normally, the position is filled by someone who is willing to cover a 100% workload. But hand on heart: very few new parents want that. Not Muriel Wyrsch either. What she wanted: To continue doing her job. And enjoy being a mum, because it is now also part of her life. The solution was close at hand: Mariem Qaddir, also a mother and already working part-time at Swisscom. The result: job sharing at management level. And a good example for all those who also want to advance their careers part-time.

Muriel Wyrsch and Mariem Qaddir, a professional tandem in which one enables the other to have the five and dime. And that in the specialist cadre.

It is often difficult for women to return to work after having children - especially in management positions. Prove to yourself and the company that it is possible after all?

Muriel: My return to work wasn't that long ago. My maternal heart was in conflict - like probably that of many other working mothers before me. It wasn't just my baby who was born, I was born too: suddenly I had this guilty conscience about going to work. It was extremely important to me to support my son's first years of life in the best possible way and to be there for my little family. However, it was also clear to me that I wanted to play an active role in economic life, so from the outset there was no question of giving up everything I had done professionally and all the extra-occupational training that I had built up over the years. And suddenly there were also the reactions from my environment to my workload.

«What are the expectations of a working mum? How many working days are appropriate?»

There is no right or wrong when it comes to a woman's workload or that of a family. It's about our family rhythm of life, it has to work for us and it does. And at the end of the day, it's not the hours we're apart that count for me, but the hours we're together.

Mariem: For me, job sharing primarily offers me the opportunity to develop professionally and still work part-time, so I can also spend time with my children. After the birth of my second child, I also asked myself important questions about my professional development.

«What do I do now? What happens next?»

Unfortunately, the labour market for part-time positions is limited. Job sharing is therefore the ideal solution for me.

And now specifically: How does your tandem work?

Muriel: We are both equally responsible for the topic of retention. At the start, we set a few priorities for each of us, but we coordinated with each other on key decisions. We have half a day per week that overlaps. This allows us to keep in sync and ensure that our responsibilities and tasks are maintained throughout the week - just like in a full-time job.

Mariem: We can cover for each other during the holidays and are therefore always available for our colleagues. We often cc each other on emails so that we're always up to date. It's very rewarding to be able to exchange ideas and get feedback and suggestions from time to time.

Is there competition?

Muriel: No, we don't do that. What counts for us is: "We can achieve more together if we work with rather than against each other". We both fully support the decision to job share and see it as a long-term working model.

Mariem: Yes, I completely agree with that. We have a very collaborative working relationship and value the opportunity to work in this model.

Everyone is talking about compatibility at the moment. And rightly so?

Mariem: Absolutely. Work-life balance is not a women's issue. It's a social issue and also one for companies.

At the moment, work-life balance is still very much associated with women. Men perhaps still lack the courage to demand part-time work or enter into job sharing. There can be different reasons for job sharing.

Muriel: Modern models are needed for women and men to reconcile their private and professional lives. In this country, traditional role models are still far too firmly anchored in people's minds. Yet there are more and more men who want to spend more time with their families and pursue a career at the same time.

Mariem: Swisscom is already doing a lot of things right here: it is a driver of innovation and the corporate culture is very open. There are also measures such as home office days, job sharing, a lot of personal responsibility and appreciation.

«Even at the interview with Muriel and our line manager, I had the feeling that they wanted to keep me, that I could develop further and that I was valued. That was very motivating for me.»

Certain topics such as job sharing for men and the topic of compatibility in general could be anchored a little more.

To create more role models?

Muriel: Yes. True promotion of compatibility is only possible when companies integrate new role models, as Swisscom does. And at the same time leave room for the old role models.

Mariem: We are shaping the role model of the woman who wants to have the five and dime. And can. It should show others that it can work. And it will work once you've found the right partner.

This article was created by Tadah.

Swisscom's compatibility measures:

Flexible forms of work

  • Home office
  • Mobile working in Switzerland
  • Flexible working hours

More time for private matters

  • Holiday purchase
  • Unpaid holiday
  • Long-term account
  • Sabbatical (management)

Working model

  • Part-time (also on probation)
  • Job sharing

Further training programmes

  • 5 training and further education days
  • Health programmes (stress management, self-management, etc.)
Diversity Team

Diversity Team

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