Manager and full-time dad

27. June 2023, MAXFIVE

For PENNYlive Editor-in-Chief Dominique Meinl-Platz, becoming a father for the first time dealt him a whole new hand. As someone who had moved to the area he was now living in, leaving grandma and grandpa behind, support and understanding from his employer took on fresh importance for him. Flexible working hours, the opportunity to work from home and – last but not least – the right team spirit helped him to chart his own course as a role mo del for other fathers at the company. In this interview Dominique talks about his experience at MAXFIVE.


work-life balance

How did you get started at MAXFIVE?

I started out as a presenter, newsreader and editor back in 2015. A year later, I took over as Editor-in-Chief of PENNYlive, initially stepping in for someone who was on m aternity leave. But when it became clear that my supervisor at the time was not coming back, I stayed in the position. And I’ve been doing this for over seven years now with MAXimum passion.

You’re not only a manager, but a dad too. What is it that makes MAXFIVE a family-friendly employer?

After my second child was born, with the support of my wife and my manager I decided to go on part-time parental leave. Which meant reducing my working hours to 30 hours per week. This allows me to really do justice to my various roles: as a family man, husband and head of a 14-strong team. And MAXFIVE supports me all the way. I am free to organise my work within the framework of our editorial hours, meaning that I can do things like attend an open day at school during the working day.

What are some of challenges that you’ve faced up to this point?

I was the first father at MAXFIVE to take advantage of the “daddy month”, and I was also the first male manager to take parental leave. Since there was little or no experience of either of these situations in the company, the HR department and I navigated our way through the bureaucratic jungle together, so to speak. While it was definitely a challenge, it was one that we were happy to take on – and one that we overcame together.

How do your colleagues feel about your position as a manager who works part time?

My colleagues support me in every way possible. Firstly they appreciate that I have taken on a kind of pioneering role at the company in this respect, and that I am more than happy to share my experiences. And secondly there is also a positive dimension to it all for my team, too, because some of my colleagues have taken on more responsibilities than before – which strengthens our team spirit enormously.

What advice would you give to other working fathers?

Just go for it! Even if you have to the odd bureaucratic hurdle or two to overcome, it’s definitely worth it. Both extended parental leave and the “daddy month” are so valuable for the family and for yourself. Plus, we have so many great colleagues at MAXFIVE who are happy to lend a hand while are not around. I really appreciate that!

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