GABLER'S path to an equal working environment

Anja Freyher (Human Resources Director), Carmen Rohlf and Kerstin Soltau (Chairperson of the Works Council) talked to us about how they gained clarity about actual equity with the help of our analysis tool and how the corporate culture has changed as a result.
Gabler x Female Lights

Case Study - GABLER x Female Lights

"I thought that in 2023 gender equality would no longer be an issue. Female Lights quickly brought me back down to earth. Above all, we as a company have a responsibility to raise awareness of the issue and that's what we'll be doing at GABLER from now on."
Carmen Rohlf,
Chairperson of the Works Council @ GABLER Maschinenbau GmbH

About the Group.

The tool was used throughout the GABLER Group. This includes GABLER Maschinenbau GmbH and GABLER Thermoform GmbH & Co. KG.

As a global leader, GABLER Maschinenbau GmbH has been supplying navies in various regions of the world with innovative and customised submarine mast systems, components and underwater communications for more than 60 years.

GABLER Thermoform GmbH & Co. KG is a leading global supplier of thermoforming machines for the production of plastic packaging using the thermoforming process.

What is the Problem to be solved?

At the beginning of the cooperation in October 2022, we spoke with the GABLER Group about the current challenges. The following was worked out as a problem to be solved:
" We aim to have the most exact transparency about whether the low percentage of women (20 %) in the GABLER Group feels equal and whether there are differences between the sexes. "
Anja Freyher

What was the status quo in terms of gender equality before the project started?

"To be honest, we thought that everything was fine and that we had no problems. That's why we hardly paid any attention to the issue. That was a fallacy. After the first conversations, we realised that we don't know how every person in our company thinks and we didn't give them the space to talk about such specific problems. We work in a male domain and want to make our women feel the best they can".

Why are you tackling this issue right now?

"We strive to continuously improve the company and are therefore eager for new ideas and perspectives that we can achieve through the cooperation. We are aware that we need to create an optimal working environment to stay competitive. Due to the professional fields, we have fewer applications from women. We want to advocate for this internally, and draw attention externally to the fact that women must be offered an equal, tolerant and open environment".

What are your goals for the next few years?

"We want to inspire more women to join us and hire them if they have the right qualifications. We want to anchor equality in our consciousness and in our DNA. We also strive for transparency and equality. We want to remove all obstacles for women".

How has Female Lights contributed to solving the problem?

The measurement instrument of our tool was used to survey and evaluate gender equality.

Time period

6 months

in 2022/2023

Collected data basis

~ 3,400 records

80 % men / 20 % women

Gender Equality Score 7.1/10

Status July 2023

The results of the measurement.

Around 3,400 data sets were collected over a period of six months. They show that employees feel equal especially in the areas of "working conditions, parental leave and re-entry" (score > 7.9). In addition, a high feeling of security and no current challenges is shown in relation to the area of "sexualisation" (8.2).

Particularly noteworthy are family-friendly working time models, a good work-life balance, the acceptance that both genders can take parental leave and that the return from parental leave or re-entry is perceived as stress-free.

The analysis also showed: Women feel slightly disadvantaged in terms of salary, although the framework conditions are the same for both genders. Female Lights can also provide the insight that employers should talk more about the equality they already practise and show that there are no differences between the sexes. There is potential for optimisation in the existing role models, the acceptance of external appearance and the distribution of praise and recognition between the sexes. A confidant, measures for the advancement of women and gender equality guidelines are desired.

Gender equality areas that scored well:

Working conditions
Parental leave

Gender equality areas that need to be improved:

Women Empowerment

What did you like about the tool?

Structure & presentation
The tool has a simple structure and can therefore be operated intuitively. Anja Freyher emphasises that she particularly liked the clear and easy-to-understand graphic representation of the results.
Feedback feature
Carmen Rohlf particularly liked the integrated feedback function in the Pulse Survey that was sent out. "The text answers we received to some questions were worth their weight in gold for us.
Fast support
"If we had any questions, the team was always quickly available. We had special requests for the evaluation of the data, which were also quickly implemented."

What positive effects did Female Lights have for you & the company?

After the cooperation, there is more awareness of the issue, according to the power trio. "The dialog about it is the first step in the right direction," says Carmen Rohlf. It was perceived that the staff was happy about the 2x weekly questions. They were curious to see what the end result would be and discussed which question everyone had received and how it was answered. "In my mind, the questions made a difference. I noticed myself that I was dealing with topics that I had previously blocked out," said Kerstin Soltau.

"Female Lights is an effective tool for implementing equality. We received clues to derive an individual action plan and implement it in the future. It helped us to answer the question: "Do our impressions match the results?".
Anja Freyher,
Human Resources Director @ GABLER

Write to us!

Want to learn more about collaboration or join us on the journey to gender equality in the workforce? Then get in touch with us.


Kim-Leandra Ide

Managing Director

About Female Lights

Anja Freyher

Human Resources Director

About Gabler MaschinenbauAbout Gabler Thermoform