Max-Planck-Gymnasium Gelsenkirchen

Finalist for the region West

Make Your Job KINTeresting / An app providing jobs while acknowledging the difficulties of having a family.

KINT - Mock upAn increasing number of young people decide to get a higher education. They reach their A-levels and follow an academic path by going to university and attaining certain degrees. That seems to be desirable and praiseworthy but there is one issue: Future professionals with academic degrees are having fewer and fewer children as they find it hard to balance family and work life.

Especially women tend to have tough decisions between having their own family and pursuing their professional success because of their absence during for example parts of the pregnancy or while the child needs to be breastfed which often leads to a decrease in their salary. The least it does is taking precious time
away in which colleamgues with no children or old children are able to pursue their career and achieve milestones making it possible for them to get promoted.

That means that people wanting to achieve their professional dreams while also following their private wishes like an own family need to be employed by a company providing them the help they need to balance their private and professional lives. Our Solution for this is KINT. KINT is an app that focuses on promoting family-friendly companies. In our app former and current employees can transparently evaluate their employers after family-friendly aspects such as how adaptable the working hours are or whether there is a corporate or company kindergarden. After this evaluation, the companies will be ranked and shown in an easy overview which includes a clear layout and a five star ranking composed by all the rankings that have been made by current or former employees. These employees need to read and accept our terms and conditions to assure that they will not falsely rank a company.

The companies presented can be filtered according to the preferences of the user. If the user works in e.g. the financial field, they can select that only companies in this field will be shown to them. Another feature in our app is the ANSTUPS button. By pressing the button, the user signs a digital petition. After a certain amount of ANSTUPSER, an official request for more family-friendliness is sent to the company the button corresponds to. Our app also provides information materials for the companies, thus helping them to reform their familyfriendliness measures.

As our focus group includes students and workers with younger children, it roughly circles people who are between 16 and 45 years old. These can mostly be reached through social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Our marketing therefore mainly focuses on social media. But the app will
additionally be advertised through schools and universities. Our partners will visit schools and universities to talk eye to eye with young students struggling with the decision between a higher education and a good job or a family — even though this decision obviously does not have to be made if there is a proper balance
between these two aspects, which our app offers.

We are aware that there already are apps and websites in which companies can be rated. The most famous are Kununu and Linkedin. But the difference to KINT is that the focus of both of these apps is not on familyfriendliness as there is no overview of family-friendly measures and also companies do not get motivated to
improve.

Their YES! topic

Career planning and birth gap: How can studies, career and family be brought into a better balance?

by Daniel Kamhöfer (Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE))  and Matthias Westphal (RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research)

Falling birth rates? Overloading the pension system? Educational expansion? Overcrowded lecture halls?

We are all familiar with these problems and know how urgently solutions are needed. But one thing must not be overlooked in the approaches to finding solutions: It is not enough to look at these problems individually. Promising solutions must address the issues holistically!

While education policy strives to get more and more young people to study, family policy tries to counteract the demographic change. At first glance, one might not expect a direct connection between these two policy fields. On closer examination, however, a mutual dependence seems entirely plausible. Policies that focus on improving educational opportunities to ensure that Germany remains internationally competitive in the future must be accompanied by measures that unite academic and working life with family life. If more and more young people study and have to find their way in a job in their mid-20s, the result is that if they want to have children, they have them later, and some may decide against having children altogether. In fact, scientific studies confirm this undesirable side effect of increased educational participation: On average, women with university degrees marry later, become mothers later and may decide against having children altogether in favour of their professional careers. Thus, the challenge of a sustainable policy is to combine both a fulfilled family life and a professional career.

How can the conflict of goals between family and career be defused and both be combined? Can the planned right of return from part-time work to full-time work in the first years after the birth of a child provide a remedy? What potential do more flexible working hours and working from home have? How can these possibilities be specifically promoted? Does parental allowance represent a further lever? At the moment, parental allowance is linked to income, but female academics often earn so much that they exceed the maximum limit and thus receive less parental allowance than non-academics. Is an adjustment desirable in terms of social policy? This challenge aims to discuss these and other possibilities that make it possible to reconcile family and work.