An exciting career while working part-time? It can be done.

Generali’s part-time workers can still take on important responsibilities.

Katharina Zumbühl and Ela Défago both work part-time in demanding and engaging roles. At the start of 2021, they were elected as co-chairs of our new Employee Representative Committee. They explain how they combine this role with their everyday personal and professional responsibilities.

Generali offers flexibility

Working part-time at Generali doesn't mean missing out on exciting projects and important responsibilities, despite working fewer hours. In this interview, Katharina Zumbühl and Ela Défago explain how they balance their private and professional responsibilities.

How easy do you find it to balance your family life and career at Generali?

Katharina: I’m able to balance the two very well thanks to the flexible annual working time model. It helps that my team work really well together and support each other, which means that urgent requests can be dealt with even on my days off.

The fact that Generali gives me the option to work from home also makes a big difference when it comes to balancing my work and home life. Not having to commute for two hours gives me a lot more time to spend with my family or on my hobbies. So I’m really grateful that Generali is continuing to offer the option of working from home 40–60% of the time, even after the pandemic.

Working part-time is a great motivator for me, because it gives me non-material incentives. Greater motivation and enjoyment of life usually go hand in hand with better performance and productivity. For that reason, I think it would be great if more roles at Generali had flexible working models – like job sharing, for example.

Ela: The rise of working from home and flexible working hours has made it easier to combine a demanding job with a busy family life. I think we should continue to drive digitalisation in our work and maintain the current momentum we’ve seen since introducing working from home.


Greater motivation and enjoyment of life go hand in hand with better performance and productivity.

Katharina, you were elected chair of the Generali Employee Representative Committee at the beginning of 2021. It must be an exciting but also challenging role. What made you put yourself forward?

Katharina: I wanted to play an active part in shaping the working environment at Generali and represent my colleagues. I love being able to do something worthwhile with my ideas and abilities and help others.

Katharina Zumbühl

Katharina Zumbühl

Lawyer working part-time

Katharina is a lawyer. She works in a 60% role and joined Generali in 2016. Katharina started as a member of the legal protection team at Fortuna before moving to Generali’s legal department. She has a child, and in her spare time she volunteers for victims of violence and those seeking legal support.

Ela, how will you even manage to fit in your work for the Employee Representative Committee alongside your other responsibilities?

Ela: The new role is definitely a huge challenge, but I find it extremely interesting and I’m sure I’ll be able to combine it with my existing professional obligations. I’m really looking forward to representing my colleagues during my time in office.

Ela Défago

Ela Défago

Department head, mother, point of contact

Ela is Head of Regional Claims Experts Bodily Injury and works in a 90% role. She joined Generali in 2011 and has three children. In addition to her role, Ela also serves as the designated contact for cases of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in the workplace.

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