Member Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius GmbH & Co. KG

50 percent women in leadership positions in Germany’s most family-friendly media company.

With 50 percent women in leadership positions, the publisher ZEIT Verlag takes the lead in the media sector. Thanks to its flexible, personalized career models, the Hamburg-based company is among the most family-friendly. In 2017, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce recognized this commitment with the Helga-Stödter award.

Dr. Rainer Esser, Managing Director ZEIT Verlagsgruppe
Dr. Rainer Esser
Managing Director ZEIT Verlagsgruppe

“Mixed teams are far more creative and deliver higher performance. So it should be a matter of course for any company to have as many women as men in leadership positions, unless they are willing to reject valuable talent. That is why we have many smart men AND women in the top tier and we provide them an environment in which they can bring the demands of career and family into harmony.”



ZEIT Verlag offers its men and women employees a wide variety of working and career models. Depending on the stage of life they happen to be in, the publisher provides support with individual models for remote working, sabbaticals, or part-time arrangements.

To create a family-friendly work structure, the company has a results-oriented focus, rather than taking an attendance-oriented approach. Most meetings are held during the core working times (9:00 am to 5:00 pm). In order to increase the sensitivity of leadership and all other colleagues for work-life balance, the topic is regularly integrated in leadership training programs. The company’s leadership has explicitly decided in favor of a family-friendly working structure. Employees can benefit from offers in the areas of childcare and eldercare at any time.

As a result of the heightened sensitivity for the topic through internal and external communication, engagement with women in leadership positions has become the norm, including under part-time working models. Young talents are systematically prepared for leadership positions with mentoring and coaching programs and encouraged to take responsibility. Both women in leadership positions as well as men who strike a balance between their careers and family life serve as important role models for young professionals.

Further commitment

In the editorial office, Editor-in-Chief Giovanni di Lorenzo had already started addressing the topic of women in leadership positions back in 2012. In a feature article, he picked up on the demands of the “Pro ratio” initiative, which advocates for more female leaders in journalism. Giovanni di Lorenzo pledged that by 2017 women would make up at least 30 percent of the leadership positions in the editorial office, an objective that is already more than accomplished today. In the interim, the editor-in-chief’s office has two women, and numerous section heads are women.

Both the editor-in-chief and CEO Dr. Rainer Esser refer to the importance of equal opportunities in interviews with other media. Dr. Rainer Esser is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the AllBright Foundation.

Feature articles and publications

Aside from ZEIT Magazine’s feature “Work. Love. Money.”, DIE ZEIT regularly reports on equal opportunities, work-life balance, and the importance of having more women in leadership positions. And the topic also resonates well on ZEIT ONLINE, including Marion Knaths’ column. The business coach has dedicated herself to the topic in the ZEIT Akademie program “Compelling communication”. See below for a selection of publications:

Related events

Equal opportunities and empowering women are the topics of numerous events organized by the ZEIT publishing company, ensuring their exposure in the public domain. See below for a selection of events:

Staged at regular intervals, TALENTS@ZEIT “Women lead differently” offers women students, graduates, and young professionals the opportunity to engage with successful women from renowned companies.

Further information

Strong women are regular guests at ZEIT CONFERENCES and events for readers:

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