On June 25, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) was presented with its audit berufundfamilie certificate by German Family Affairs Minister Franziska Giffey. The MDC had previously successfully completed the dialogue process that is open to employers who have pursued, for at least nine years, a strategic personnel policy that takes family life and specific life phases into an account. The MDC initially received the certificate after its first audit in 2009. Following three successive re-audits, it was able to pass through the dialogue process, after which the certificate is awarded in perpetuity. The audit is conducted by berufundfamilie Service GmbH, which will initiate another dialogue process in three years to assure quality is maintained. The goal is to maintain high standards in the MDC’s personnel policy when it comes to considering family and life-phase needs and to optimize existing potential in certain selected areas.
“We are delighted about the certificate,” said Professor Heike Graßmann, the MDC’s Administrative Director. “It is both an honor and a commitment” Around 1,600 employees at the MDC have benefitted from the family-friendly measures. In recent years, the number of available spaces at the campus kindergarten has been expanded, a care hotline has been established, and an extensive healthcare and fitness program has been initiated in partnership with other organizations based at the Berlin-Buch campus. The program gives employees discounted gym memberships, for example. In the future, the MDC intends to expand its strategic personnel policy to consider the specific family and life-phase needs of PhD students and of employees who are soon to retire. To do so, it will introduce additional standards such as obligatory appraisal interviews and leadership principles.
The audit is suitable for employers in any sector and for organizations of any size. It identifies what family and life-cycle measures are currently in place, systematically develops the individual potential of the organization, and ensures that family awareness is anchored in the organizational culture. After successful completion of this process, an independent board of trustees made up of prominent representatives from business, academia, government, and the association sector confers the certificate for the audit.
Since the audit was introduced in 1998, around 1,800 employers have been awarded the certificate. Currently, a total of 991 employers are certified according to audit berufundfamilie or audit familiengerechte hochschule (audit family-friendly university). Of those, 482 are companies, 106 are universities, and 403 are other organizations and institutes. Around two million employees and 1.4 million university students have benefited.
Head of the Communications Department
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC)
The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) is one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutions. Max Delbrück, a Berlin native, was a Nobel laureate and one of the founders of molecular biology. At the MDC’s locations in Berlin-Buch and Mitte, researchers from some 60 countries analyze the human system – investigating the biological foundations of life from its most elementary building blocks to systems-wide mechanisms. By understanding what regulates or disrupts the dynamic equilibrium in a cell, an organ, or the entire body, we can prevent diseases, diagnose them earlier, and stop their progression with tailored therapies. Patients should benefit as soon as possible from basic research discoveries. The MDC therefore supports spin-off creation and participates in collaborative networks. It works in close partnership with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in the jointly run Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité, and the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK). Founded in 1992, the MDC today employs 1,600 people and is funded 90 percent by the German federal government and 10 percent by the State of Berlin.
- BerufundFamilie Service GmbH
berufundfamilie Service GmbH is a service provider and think tank that addresses the issue of how to reconcile the demands of work, family, and private life. It successfully accompanies companies, organizations, and universities in the implementation of a sustainable personnel policy that takes family life and specific life phases into account, and in designing family-friendly research and study conditions. The main service it provides is the audit berufundfamilie (audit workandfamily), which was initiated by the non-profit Hertie Foundation in 1998. Its current patron is German Family Affairs Minister Franziska Giffey. The audit is a strategic management tool that employers can use to shape personnel policies that take family life and specific life phases into account and that increase their attractiveness as an employer. Since 1998, around 1,800 employers have received the audit certificate.