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The KOFA project at the German Economic Institute has been supporting small and medium-sized enterprises since 2011 with action plans and practical examples for securing specialist staff and organizing their HR work. Its recent study into skilled female employees reveals that careers with a below-average proportion of women are hit particularly frequently by a shortage of skilled labor – now two thirds of all careers that are typically associated with men are among the so-called bottleneck occupations. The results of the study show that women tend to embark on traditionally male careers if flexible working hours are available. “Companies that create attractive working conditions for women and communicate these in a targeted way will have the edge in the competition for the best skilled employees in the long term,” says KOFA expert Dr. Regina Flake.

Thus, for example, the proportion of women in typically male bottleneck occupations in which, in addition to existing full-time employment, other part-time jobs have been created rose between 2013 and 2017 by 15.6% – significantly more than the national average in Germany.