Slow moves towards equal treatment in the 1990s

Against the backdrop of globalization, Allianz started to internationalize its operations in the long term from 1989 onwards. This also had an impact on the situation of women in the company, who – as at government level – were still not adequately represented.

The 1990s gradually saw fundamental calls for arrangements to allow women to combine work and family life better being met in the form of various laws on equal treatment. Allianz took the opportunity to put supplementary company regulations in place at the same time. In 1993, for example, it negotiated an agreement on the "Promotion of equal opportunities" with the Central Works Council, appointing an equal opportunities officer in every HR department.

A female employee on the front cover: Frenchwoman Murielle Leroy (AGF) successfully took part in the 4th Allianz Olympics in Milan. (2002)

Changes were certainly necessary: the internal debate on equal opportunities highlighted how difficult it was for women at Allianz to combine family and working life, as well as the fact that the idea of equal rights was still in its infancy, as the Allianz Journal reported at the time. Women who opted to have children and work part-time were almost always forced to give up on the idea of a career.

Bit by bit, the company-specific and legal conditions allowing women to return to work were improved. The measures taken included the expansion of flexible working hours models and childcare – the legal right to a nursery place, for example, was enshrined in law, as were improved conditions for paid parental leave. In 1992, child-raising allowance was extended to cover a two-year period. In 1997, Allianz Life received a prize in "The family-friendly company" competition in recognition of its broad range of family-friendly measures, including flexi-time with no core hours, teleworking and part-time arrangements. One pioneering move at that time was allowing employees to remain in constant contact with the company during their parental leave. The fact that this was still worthy of an award in 2002 – this time in a competition at federal state level – shows how difficult it still is to break away from relatively rigid gender roles at work and within the family.

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