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#ChangeAgent Robert Franken – The merit system penalizes people in our society

Robert Franken deals with Digital Leadership, Gender Empathy and New Work. As a speaker, moderator and author, he brings socially relevant content to the outside world and publishes it (among other things) on his blog, Digitale Tanzformation, as well as on the platform for Male Feminists Europe. He is committed to fair employment – for both women and men – and stands up for his beliefs. He definitely belongs among our #ChangeAgents.

If you could change one thing about the job market right away, what would that be?

I would tackle the discrimination against single parents, as well as that against women and mothers (and fathers) returning to part-time positions after a period of parental leave. This includes dealing with the predominantly quantitative assessment of work performance. Parents are a valuable resource for the labor market, while making a significant contribution to the future of our society. Here we have to set new priorities, especially against the backdrop of changing lifestyles.

How are you personally contributing to effect change?

I am trying to work for a more just society in different ways. I speak at events on topics such as diversity and gender parity. I support women in their personal development at different career levels. I also advise companies trying to become attractive employers for women and parents while meeting the challenges of digital transformation. And, last but not least, as a father, I take on as much responsibility as possible for my own family.

What does a company that is prepared for the “working world of tomorrow” look like? Where is a “paradigm shift” necessary?

We must understand that the merit system penalizes employees who are not part of the prevailing system. Thus, in the case of meritocracy, women who can’t sufficiently develop their potential within male paradigms are generally disadvantaged. In addition, we need new leadership when the classic command & control systems are overridden. Especially in the context of digitalization, it is often forgotten that we work with people. We have to remember that technology should only be a means to an end for a better society.

Thank you for the interview and your thoughts.

In our #ChangeAgents section, we introduce people who encourage us to tackle and change things. Strong minds, who work with passion for a more humane working world, thus initiating a change in thinking and actively helping to shape change processes. Our #ChangeAgents are role models, lateral thinkers, multipliers and dissenters.

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