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  • 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report
2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Diversity and equal opportunities

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People from approximately 150 countries, women and men, young and old as well as people with different abilities and cultural backgrounds, work together effectively at Deutsche Telekom. This diversity helps us stay on top of global competition with good ideas, excellent products and the best team.


  • Encouraging internationality and intercultural experiences
  • 30 percent of management positions to be filled by women


  • Fair Share - initiative to increase number of female employees
  • Work-life balance offers
  • Multiplier and mentor programs for experts and managers
  • Action plan to promote inclusion
  • Entry-level qualification for disadvantaged young people
  • Job rotation and international talent and leadership programs


  • Percentage of women at the company
  • Percentage of women in managerial positions
  • Percentage of employees working part-time or on parental leave
  • Percentage of employees with disabilities
  • Percentage of disadvantaged young people starting an apprenticeship
  • Diversity in HR development programs
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Our aim is to promote and benefit from the diversity of our employees as a source of creativity and innovation. We offer our employees numerous opportunities to grow professionally and personally at our company, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, health or ethnic or cultural background. A central point here is increasing the number of women in expert and managerial positions. We want to be the first DAX-30 company to have 30 percent women in middle and senior management positions worldwide. To this end, we launched the Fair Share initiative.

As early as during the hiring process we emphasize diversity and consider options other than just traditional educational routes. One good example is our entry-level qualification program for young people who are disadvantaged in terms of their social and educational background and our part-time apprenticeships/degree programs for single parents.

We support an effective work-life balance with extensive offerings to allow our employees to work at their best. This includes daycare offers and assistance with caregiving, offers which exceed the legal requirements. A good example is the right for part-time employees to return to full working hours. All employees can return to their full weekly hours whenever they want. In 2016 we also introduced lifetime work accounts, which can be used by our employees to take limited time off, for example.

We offer multiplier and mentor programs to establish managers as role models and ambassadors who encourage diversity. Since 2015, we have been promoting awareness of diversity within the Group with our unconscious bias campaign. It includes workshops and other offers aimed at reducing prejudice. Many of our employees have become actively involved in addressing various aspects of diversity, for example as members of internal networks such as “queerbeet”, a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual employees, or of the numerous women's networks that have been established within the Group.

Deutsche Telekom's Diversity Policy, die Guiding Principles and Employee Relations Policy and the Social Charter are the cornerstones of these measures. We are also a founding member of the Diversity Charter association.

We regularly review the effectiveness of our measures to promote diversity and publish the results in our Fair Share and Work-Life reports. More than 25 percent of our managerial positions are currently held by women. The number of managers working part-time and the number of fathers taking advantage of parental leave continues to grow as well. The number of disabled employees working in Germany puts us well over the statutory quota of 5 percent.

In 2015 Deutsche Telekom again participated in the Germany-wide activity day held by the Diversity Charter association, the third German Diversity Day. On this day we also launched our internal campaign on unconscious bias. We used posters to raise awareness, explanatory videos and practice-oriented workshops to show to our employees how subconscious prejudice influences thoughts, feelings and actions and how such behavioral patterns can be overcome. By the end of 2015, a total of 3,100 employees had participated in the workshops and feedback was very positive. We have now begun to adapt the campaign to other regions and to implement it at our national companies.

An independent platform for dialog, strategies and innovation projects, the Diversity Conference has been hosted jointly by the German daily, “Tagesspiegel”, and the Diversity Charter association since 2012. In November 2015 around 300 key players from the worlds of business, politics, society and science once again came together in Berlin. At one booth participants were able to catch up on activities at Deutsche Telekom relating to diversity and unconscious bias. Deutsche Telekom also sponsored the Diversity Slam, a particular highlight of the conference. Four teams or individuals, which had been pre-selected by a jury, had a maximum of ten minutes to present their idea, best practice example or study results relating to the topics of prejudice, stereotypes and unconscious bias. The audience then voted for the best slam presentation.

The share of disabled employees at our company has been exceeding the statutory minimum percentage of 5 percent of the workforce for years. Currently, people with disabilities account for more than 7 percent of our workforce in Germany, which puts us ahead of all other DAX-30 companies. During the reporting period we developed an action plan in collaboration with employee representatives that is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and designed to continue the successful inclusion of persons with disabilities at our company. Measures defined in the action plan include accessibility of training courses and IT applications.

In 2014 we initiated the second round of our “Child and Career” mentoring program. The program is targeted toward young talent in expert and managerial positions who are planning to take or are currently on parental leave or have just returned to work. During all of these phases, they are supported by a senior manager mentor. 31 tandem teams took part in the second round of the program. The program runs for approx. 18 months and will end on June 30, 2016, with a number of trainings, events and tandem discussions. The poll conducted upon completion of the first round found that participants were very happy with the program; almost 20 percent were even able to advance their careers during parental leave.

In 2014 we became the first DAX-listed company to develop a training program in cooperation with the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) that gets employees ready for a position on the supervisory board. The goal is to create a pool of candidates who could potentially assume a position on the supervisory board at a Deutsche Telekom company in Germany or abroad and to encourage women in particular to take on a supervisory board position.

The first round of the program with 24 women ended in summer 2015. In addition to traditional content, the training also gave insight into practical experiences presented by supervisory board members, case studies from the Group and a simulated supervisory board meeting. Of the 24 female participants, 7 now hold positions on a supervisory board with several more going through the nomination process. The training program helped increase the percentage of women on supervisory boards in Germany from 28 percent in 2014 to 30.6 percent. The program won 3rd place in the Equal Job Opportunities category of the HR Excellence Award.

The successor program, now also open to men, got underway in November 2015 with 28 female and 7 male participants.

In July 2015 Deutsche Telekom created the position of Family Manager, a point of contact offering employees personal advice on all kinds of topics relating to the reconciliation of work and family.  This offer also includes a family hotline. Since its introduction the pilot project has met with positive feedback. So far, approx. 140 personal consultations have been provided. 420 employees have also signed up for a series of talks on the "Reconciliation of work and care," which was launched as part of the pilot project in December 2015. This pilot project will run for one year and is initially available in Bavaria only.

We introduced lifetime work accounts  for all of our employees in 2016. This gives our employees the opportunity to finance a temporary release from work of longer than one month, which may be used for early retirement, a sabbatical or to support a period of part-time work. Until this year, lifetime work accounts were only available to executives. Our employees can finance their account either from their gross salary or with time credits converted into monetary amounts. Until 2018 we will also support employees who are below a certain income limit with an annual contribution. 

In 2010 we became the first DAX-30 company to commit to staffing 30 percent of our mid and upper-level management positions worldwide with women. Our “Fair Share” initiative is designed to help us achieve this goal. In 2011 we also launched an initiative together with two other companies to boost the number of women in managerial positions at the 30 DAX-listed companies, an initiative that is unique in Europe. With these initiatives we were able to help fuel the ongoing public debate on the topic.

To help us reach our goal, we launched our Fair Share initiative and a number of measures: expanding our offers dedicated to work-life balance by introducing parental leave models, flexible working hours and child care facilities, a mentoring program to prepare female employees for supervisory board positions as well as addressing talented women through channels such as our talent platform, Talents@Telekom.

As a result, we have been able to continually increase the percentage of women in management positions since 2010. With 35 percent on the Group's Supervisory Board, we have already surpassed our own goal as well as the legal quota introduced on January 1, 2016.   Since announcement of the women's quota in early 2010, we have been able to increase the percentage of women throughout the Group from 19 percent to a current 25 percent. In order to consolidate our achievements beyond 2015, we have prolonged our plan until 2020 and extended it to the two management levels directly below the Management Board, to managing boards as well as to our internal supervisory boards in Germany. With these efforts, we are significantly surpassing the statutory regulations in effect since 2015.  We are planning to further pursue the measures we have already taken in order to reach our goals.

Im November 2015 we joined the UN Women Empowerment Principles, a global initiative launched by the United Nations and Global Compact img for the promotion of women at companies.

T-Systems Limited partnered with Everywoman in 2013 and is now an active member of the network. Everywoman is a membership organization that has championed the advancement of women in business since its foundation in 1999. It works alongside companies looking to develop and retain a pipeline of female leaders who are looking to advance themselves and others. 

T-Systems Limited has its own Everywoman community with the aim of helping staff connect and stay inspired by providing the opportunity to network internally and externally, and to attend in-company webinars, bi-monthly meetings and an annual event to hear and learn from each other and leading women in the technology industry.  In 2015 the Everywoman network was opened up to all staff to build a broad understanding of the benefits to the organization of having a truly diverse workforce. 

As part of our commitment to the Everywoman program, T-Systems sponsored the 2015 Everywoman Team Leader Award as one category of the “Every woman in technology” awards. The awards play a vital role in uncovering role models whose stories and achievements demonstrate to those young women and girls that they can achieve great success if they opt to forge a career in IT.

T-Systems views the Everywoman program as an important part of its strategy and continues to support it in 2016.

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