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Family-Friendly University of Bremen May Carry Certification Permanently

The University of Bremen has once more received the “audit family-friendly university” certification for its family equality. The special feature: After a development and assessment phase lasting several years, the university may now carry the quality seal permanently.

The awarding ceremony usually takes place in Berlin. Due to the corona crisis, berufundfamilieService GmbH – the company responsible – organized the event online for the first time ever. The project is under the direction of the Federal Minister for Family Affairs Franziska Giffey.

Especially the University of Bremen Strategy and the derived measures for the improvements of family-friendly working and studying conditions were praised. Previously, the university had successfully completed the development process to become a family-friendly university which took several years. Around a decade lies between this organizational development process and the granting of a permanent certificate. “In this time, organizational and staff policy aimed at family equality must be successfully initiated and sustainable implemented,” explains the project head, Bettina Schweizer from the Administrative Unit for Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination at the university.

Diverse Services Included

Around 3,500 staff members and just under 20,000 students can profit from the measures to improve family equality at the University of Bremen. Diverse services, such as consultations, childcare – even in an emergency – or family-friendly places on campus are offered. The Family Care Office’s service range was expanded recently: There are now regular consultations available for all university members. Due to the current contact restrictions on campus, these appointments are taking place online, via email, or telephone.

Director of Finance and Administration: “Compatibility of Work and Student Is an Important Issue”

“The compatibility of work and studies with family tasks is an important issue for me,” says the university’s director of finance and administration, Dr. Martin Mehrtens. That is why I am pleased to support the many measures at the University of Bremen. Last year, we implemented a new emergency childcare program for all staff members. The staff development measures, such as the two-year program for women in administration: “KomMIT – Kompetenzerweiterung für Mutter in der Administration” (Competence Enhancement for Mothers in Administration), which ended in March 2020, are also of significance for me.

First Distinction 13 Years Ago

The University of Bremen was certified as a family-friendly university for the first time in 2007. So-called re-auditing was carried out every three years, which finally resulted in a permanent awarding of the quality seal. The audit is carried out by berufundfamilie Service GmbH, who will hold a further audit in dialogue form with the university in three years based on the permanent certification awarded and for quality assurance purposes. The aim of the dialogue process is to foster the development status of the staff policy that takes family and life phases into consideration and to recognize and utilize further optimization and improvement potential in individually chosen areas.

“Family-Friendly Company Culture Promotes Team Functionality”

As part of the online certificate event that took place under the title “TEAM 2020 – Mit Vereinbarkeit Stark in und nach der Krise” (Strong with Compatibility In and After the Crisis), Oliver Schmitz, manager of berufundfamilie Service GmbH, explained: “Employers that consider family and life phases always had a feeling for it – but this was made obvious in the world of work due to the corona pandemic: A strategically implemented compatibility policy is a means of risk management. Thanks to that, employers are in a position to react quickly and suitably to change. A company culture where the compatibility of work, family, and personal life is anchored promotes team functionality. Such a culture offers a framework where it is possible to promote talent, support employee empowerment, further the agility of work processes, and manage issues of compatibility effectively. These effects, which form a good basis for working together within a team, are also paying off in the times of crisis.”

The web-based event honored a total of 334 employers – 134 companies, 164 institutions, and 36 universities, who have either completed the audit workandfamily or audit family-friendly university in the past twelve months.

About Audit Workandfamily and Audit Family-Friendly University

Implementable in all branches and companies of various sizes, the audit comprises the status quo of the already offered family and life-conscious measures, systematically develops the company’s own potential, and ensures that the awareness for family is anchored within the organizational culture. After successful completion of this process, an independent advisory board comprising prominent representatives from the fields of economy, science, politics, and associations presents the audit certificate. Since the establishment of the audit in 1998, around 1800 employers have received the certificate. Currently, a total of 982 employers, of which there are 467 companies 413 institutions, and 102 universities, are certified as per the audit workandfamily or audit family-friendly university. Roughly 2 million staff members and around 1.4 million students can profit from this.

Berufundfamilie Service GmbH is a service provider and think tank in the field of compatibility of work, family, and personal life. The company successfully accompanies other companies, institutions, and universities through the implementation of sustainable family and life phase-aware staff policy and the creation of family-friendly research and study conditions.

Further Information:  (in German only)


Bettina Schweizer
Project head – audit family-friendly university
Administrative Unit for Equal Opportunities/Anti-Discrimination
University of Bremen
Email: chancen3protect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de
Phone: +49 (0)421 218-60182

Group with man and women
A joint photo with corona distancing on campus (from the left): Director of Finance and Administration Martin Mehrtens holding the certificate, Samira Abdel Wahid (audit coordination), Ines Gürlevik (Family Care Office head), and Bettina Schweizer (audit project head).