Further training during parental leave: The Healthcare Hub Freiburg completes ADULTY project

4 min


Many women and men who are firmly established in professional life are likely to experience a break in their career during their parental leave. But this does not have to be the case. In order to show that parental leave can even boost one's own career, the Pfizer Healthcare Hub Freiburg started a joint project with ADULTY this year. During their parental leave, three talented mothers developed an innovative marketing concept for the Healthcare Hub Freiburg – a proof that ‘New Work’ works. 

"The compatibility of child and career is still extremely difficult – very personally as a mother, as well as in our society as a whole," says Rebecka Asal, a financial economist and mother of two children. Rebecka is one of three women who took part in the Healthcare Hub project in cooperation with ADULTY. The principle of ADULTY is simple but effective: highly qualified mothers and fathers can apply for the program during their parental leave. The selected ADULTY talents then complete future projects with partner companies – for example us, the Healthcare Hub Freiburg – in addition to classic training and further education.  

Marketing expertise for the Healthcare Hub 

In August of this year, we approached ADULTY with a very specific task. We wanted the hub's success to be more visible within the global Pfizer network. Therefore, three new employees from the ADULTY project joined us to develop an internal marketing concept. The team consisted of Rebecka Asal, a financial economist, Christine Steinhart, marketing expert and mother of two, and Sara Boukal, cultural scientist and mother of three children.  

With their individual strengths and backgrounds, they immersed themselves in what was for them a new professional field in the healthcare industry. While Rebecka, Christine and Sara were able to creatively contribute their expertise to a new field of work, we at the Healthcare Hub Freiburg benefited from the fresh perspective and diverse experience of the three talents. 

Trust as the basis for cooperation 

"Working together with ADULTY colleagues was a real enrichment", says Peter Neske, Head of the Pfizer Healthcare Hub Freiburg. "It really was fun to see how they approached the project as outsiders and finally found such innovative and highly creative solutions". Rebecka, Christine and Sara worked on three areas of responsibility: Optimizing the website for a better user experience, community engagement and measuring innovation through appropriate metrics. In doing so, they organized themselves, divided tasks sensibly and arranged their working hours, depending on the time required for the care of their children. 

"I see the flexibility of the work design as the great strength of ADULTY," says Sara, "because I felt serious about my efforts to do a job that fits into the framework of my family and I didn't have to bend over backwards for fixed appointments or deadlines. The full trust of our project partner Pfizer Healthcare Hub took a lot of pressure off and was the best basis for our work" 

Trust, says Peter Neske, is the key to this new way of working. And that should not be any other way although there may be troubles occurring at the start. "All beginnings are difficult," sums up Rebecka. "For a new team that doesn't know each other and has to work together in a completely new form on an ad hoc basis, for the Pfizer Healthcare Hub, which is confronted with completely new input from outside and, last but not least, for all the family members who are behind it. In the end, however, efficiency, flexibility, reliability and trust are essential for them in the New Work area. "If this is given and the team functions as such, an incredible amount can come out of it," says the mother of two.  

The origin of the ADULTY program 

With this vision Marlene Körschges, managing director of f.u.n.k.e Future GmbH, launched the ADULTY program. "I have seen in my circle of acquaintances what are the professional consequences having children for the parents and how many of them would have liked to get involved or further qualify themselves in a small amount of time if the opportunity had been there", says Marlene. "I thought to myself, this has to change! 

This is how she started the ADULTY program and was able to realize many successful projects with mothers and fathers on parental leave and company partners. Marlene was in close contact both with the Healthcare Hub and the three talents during the project period and provided valuable support as a sparring partner. "I would definitely recommend it," says ADULTY participant Sara, "The program offers the great opportunity to get to know a field for a limited period of time which one would otherwise not easily get into and to try things out in a professional setting. This is a break from the normal career paths, so to speak, and also allows for a lateral entry.  

We at the Pfizer Healthcare Hub are also grateful to have gotten to know this new form of cooperation. Our successful project is the best proof that the courage to design and try out new working models pays off. Or, as participant Christine puts it: "The program demonstrates true pioneering spirit and shows what the work of the future can look like!" 

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