The men are back – Women step aside

"Men and women are equal": this is how the German Basic Law has described the status of men and women since 1949. Up until 1958, however, husbands still have "the right to make the final decision": a man is entitled to terminate his wife's employment contract if she works without his consent. This is because most women had to step aside to make way for men returning from the war. Only widows were allowed to keep their jobs in exceptional cases.

The aesthetics of the German ”Heimatfilm” (sentimental films with a regional background): The perfect family in an advertisement for Allianz life insurance. (1959)

"We're among men" were the words used by the head of the technical operations department, Heinz-Leo Müller-Lutz, in 1954, as he started to describe his tips for successful career progression. He obviously was not aware of Eva von Grumbkow, who, in 1956, was the first woman to be awarded special signing authority (Prokura) since the end of the war and headed up the bookkeeping and statistics department. But unlike in the world of advertising, where Allianz discovers "the modern woman" in 1969, hardly any women manage to move up the career ladder. In the early 1970s, when an initial attempt was made to introduce flexitime, the figures speak for themselves: out of 1,250 employees in the Munich head office, 489 are women, and out of 71 positions with signing authority, only one is held by a woman.

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