Urgently wanted bosses was a headline this week. Where’s the news, some might be thinking. It has been known for years, decades, that it is complicated to lure women into management positions. Quota debates and fathers’ months have not brought any real progress. In a European comparison, Germany is still in an embarrassing 20th place with 29.2 percent women in management positions.

The news is: The situation is not getting better, but worse: the value has fallen slightly over the past four years, the 30 percent hurdle is apparently becoming a glass ceiling for leadership issues. And what is also new is that the desire to be the boss is apparently also disappearing among men. A survey by the “Initiative Chefsache” showed that in addition to the pathetic 24.7 percent of women who want to lead in professional life, only 33.4 percent of men are striving for the top. That is around ten percent less than four years ago.

And among those who are already in management positions, only 29 percent want more responsibility, and among women only 23 percent. The boss thing experiences a fulminant crash in the popularity scale. At the same time, more than half of all employees are willing to give up money and prestige in order to do something worthwhile. Apparently, they find management positions less and less useful.

The search for answers between the desire for a better work-life balance and the shortage of skilled workers (in many industries you can now choose your job) leads directly back to the women’s question. Because what is deterring more and more men, not only among Generation Y and Z, is the bad reputation that management positions have (apart from the financial advantages). Especially when it comes to family life.

The cliché goes like this: Managers are these fathers who (in the best case) are in a suit standing on the playground on the phone, but normally hardly take part in family life at all because the wife (in the best case) works part-time and otherwise happily in of care work. Until the pension notice and/or divorce freezes the smile on their face. cliché end.

The solution can only lie in making things more flexible, for everyone involved. Why should one do an 80-hour job when the money was already enough to live a good life and is also becoming less reliable due to inflation and there is no longer enough for a condominium even on the outskirts? Money seems to play an ever smaller role in the following generations, job satisfaction and freedom are becoming more and more important.

This may have been the case for women for a long time, quite independently of the question of having children, which often reinforces the question of meaning. The fact that this is apparently affecting more and more men could be a real opportunity for change. Dual leadership should no longer only be en vogue in party leadership: Those who share work get less out of it and, above all, don’t have to be available everywhere and all the time.

Bosses can also be replaced, the easiest way is if they start in pairs. It’s not cool who sits last in the office. But who, after a successful day, is on the playground without a cell phone. If the co-boss runs the shop, that’s no problem at all.