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Women and professional development

The Kompetenzzentrum Frau und Beruf Bonn/ Rhein-Sieg is one of 16 competence centers in North Rhine-Westphalia and part of the state initiative Frau und Wirtschaft. Its goal is to increase female employment in NRW and improve equal professional opportunities. At the same time, it aims to prevent shortages of skilled workers in small and medium-sized enterprises and thus promote their competitiveness.

Successful business needs women's potential

More than 50 percent of university graduates in Germany are women. Since 2012, more women have a degree in business administration than men. However, they are still significantly underrepresented in management positions in the German economy - whether in medium-sized companies or in large corporations. In 2021, for example, only around 29 percent of German executives were women. In view of demographic developments and the strong demand for skilled workers, no company can afford to forego the acquisition potential of women in the long term.
This is where the work of the Competence Center comes in. Small and medium-sized enterprises - SMEs with 5 to 249 employees - are supported by the Competence Center in increasing the proportion of women in management positions, establishing a family-friendly corporate culture and adopting new recruitment methods to attract female specialists.

Strong in leadership with mentoring

The need for skilled workers is intensifying competition for qualified personnel. Mentoring offers participating companies the chance to fill key positions from their own ranks. Since 2014, the Competence Center has been offering the cross-mentoring program - mentoring4women - to support small and medium-sized companies in their human resources development.

By participating in the program, SMEs can promote their female specialists, develop leadership skills and improve the career opportunities of their female employees. They also learn how to strengthen their company with successful gender and HR management.

In the fall of 2021, the fourth year of the mentoring program came to a successful close at the Haus der Springmaus with a festive closing event. Despite the restrictions caused by the Corona pandemic, it was a special experience for all program participants. Thirteen companies took advantage of the program to give their female employees a career jump. The annual mentoring4women program has become a brand in the region with major events, networking meetings and workshops on leadership topics. The Bonn/Rhine-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Bonn Rhein-Sieg District Chamber of Skilled Crafts and the Cologne Chamber of Skilled Crafts are among the supporters of the mentoring program.

Career workshops for female specialists and managers

New are the career workshops of the Competence Center on topics such as "Strong voice. Strong on the job!", "Taking the plunge - tackling career changes". The workshop "Gender as performance communication and body language" was offered on International Women's Day on March 8. The topics were well received, and the feedback from participants on the workshops was very positive.

Family-conscious personnel policies in SMEs

With specialist presentations, workshops and online seminars, companies are informed and inspired in a variety of ways about the possibilities for supporting the work-life balance. The high numbers of participants in the many online formats in particular showed how well SMEs have been able to take advantage of the digitalization boost from the Corona pandemic, but also how great the need is for information on all aspects of family-conscious HR policy. One highlight was the cooperation event with the business development department of the city of Siegburg at the Rhein-Sieg Forum on the topic of potential consulting and employee development. Here it became clear how much the companies are again looking forward to the personal exchange.


With over 90 member companies from a wide range of industries, it is one of the largest networks of the 16 competence centers for women and careers in NRW. It has been growing steadily since it was founded in 2013. Members regularly exchange ideas at network meetings four times a year and receive advice and innovative expert input on family-conscious HR policies. They can use the network logo and present their company via the website (opens in a new tab). Small and medium-sized companies from the region are welcome to join.

Optimize job advertisements - attract female professionals

For companies that would like to see more response from female professionals to their job advertisements, the Competence Center is offering the webinar "Optimizing Job Advertisements - Attracting More Female Applicants" in cooperation with the Institut für deutsche Wirtschaft Köln e.V. (Cologne Institute for the German Economy). In addition, companies have the opportunity to receive individual feedback for their job advertisements. This practical format has become a sought-after offer for HR managers, especially in Corona time. 

Digital Professionals Week of the Competence Centers Women and Career

This year, the Kompetenzzentren Frau & Beruf in NRW invited companies from seven regions to the second digital skilled workers week, and the response was great. The Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Competence Center was there and participated with the workshop "Achieving great things with small steps - gender-oriented management for small and medium-sized enterprises". 

The Kompetenzzentrum Frau und Beruf Bonn/Rhein-Sieg is a cooperation project of the business development agencies of the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district. It is funded by the state of NRW and the European Union. 

Mrs. Filiz Karsligil
Projektleitung Kompetenzzentrum Frau und Beruf Bonn/Rhein-Sieg
Mrs. Christiana Krack