• Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report
2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Providing diversity and equal opportunities

Deutsche Telekom promotes equal opportunities and involvement in society. We work to provide better educational opportunities in all areas of life to everyone, regardless of their social background or personal ability, starting with early childhood and continuing on through old age. Our efforts particularly focus on teaching people how to use digital medial safely and competently.

In view of the strong influx of refugees coming to Europe, we are also interested in giving the people who arrive here the chance of a fresh start. With that we support the sustainability of Europe and our company.


  • Promoting equal opportunities
  • Providing access to education


  • Educational projects
  • Aid for refugees


  • KPI’s on Social Commitment

Our goal is to connect people, not only with our products and services but also with our social commitment. We contribute our core expertise as an international ICT img corporation to these efforts and work actively to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, background or education, can participate in our society. Our efforts to promote equal opportunities include supporting projects and institutions, such as our  "Yes, I can!" initiative, that work to develop the individual skills of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, both socially and in terms of education. We are also involved in numerous projects to teach people how to use digital media safely and competently. Our "My chance to get going!" project gives these young people the opportunity to participate in a vocational training program.

We also encourage young people to volunteer, e.g., within the scope of our Enactus university partnership, a coaching offer for social projects conducted by students. The Deutsche Telekom foundation also promotes equal opportunities and is involved in numerous projects to help people develop their skills in the STEM img subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

In view of the influx of refugees coming to Europe we expanded our refugee aid as part of our social commitment in 2015 and set up different aid offers at our European locations along the routes used by refugees.

Our "Yes, I can!" initiative teaches young people key skills to enable them to act independently and with self-confidence. In doing so, we promote equal opportunities within our society. In the reporting year, more than 200 new projects went live with funding totaling over 800,000 euros. The focal theme in 2015 was "Exploring, understanding and shaping my environment," in which children and young people were encouraged to take a close look at their direct environments and to get to know their surroundings from a completely new perspective. Numerous other skill-enhancing projects, for example in the areas of crafts, the theater, and geocaching, also received support from the initiative. Since it was launched six years ago, over 900 projects have been funded by the initiative nationwide with a total volume of 5 million euros. This has made it possible to reach over 75,000 children and young people.

Die „Ich kann was!"-Initiative im Film: Von Naturscouts, Kletterkurs, Fahrradwerkstatt und HipHop …

In view of the massive challenges involved in aid work for refugees, our Board of Management set up its own task force in August 2015. It pools our various aid programs in Germany to ensure that support can be provided faster and with less red tape:

  • E-mails or messenger services are usually the only way for people in refugee shelters to keep in touch with their families and friends. By the end of February 2016, we had already supplied free WiFi img to around 68 refugee reception centers.
  • How can I apply for asylum? Where can I learn German? Am I allowed to work? Where can I get help? The answers to this and many other questions can be found on our "https://refugees.telekom.de" internet platform. The portal also makes it possible to contact local helpers and organizations. It is available in eight languages and is being continually expanded.
  • We offered 19 Deutsche Telekom properties as refugee accommodation.
  • In 2015, we advertised 77 internships at Deutsche Telekom and offered grants for students to study at our HfTL University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig via the „careers4refugees.de“ refugee platform. So far, we were able to assign 47 internships to university and school students and six grants for university courses.
  • At their request, we assign civil servants working for our company to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) to help process the high number of applications for asylum. Employees have submitted more than 800 applications to Vivento, Deutsche Telekom's personnel service provider. Nearly 500 civil servants are already working at BAMF or are scheduled to start soon, and more civil servants still have the opportunity to transfer to the Federal Office.
  • Many of our staff help out in the temporary shelters, accompany refugees on visits to the public authorities, and donate both clothing and money. We support this voluntary work via our "engagement@telekom.de" platform. By the end of February 2016, more than 70 aid projects had been launched, including a nationwide charity run with over 1,100 participants at 16 locations, which brought in over 50,000 euros. Other projects include joint activities to promote integration and offer German language courses. Employees are currently teaching German within the scope of the "I want to learn German" project.
  • We collaborate with ministries, government agencies, adult education centers and those in charge of running refugee registration centers like the German Red Cross, Caritas, the Workers' Samaritan Federation (ASB), etc. Our involvement in a collaboration with Germany's Relief Coalition and its partners is ongoing. Furthermore, we work closely and pragmatically with over 30 other companies to achieve specific targets.

At our European sites along the refugee routes, we implement various aid projects that suit local needs. We offer people in many countries free internet access to ensure they can keep in touch with their friends and relatives. Some of our national companies have set up donation hotlines. Financial support provided by the OTE Group to the coastguard service in Greece, for instance, has already helped to save 74,000 people from drowning. T-Mobile Austria has been working in refugee aid since 2010, helping for instance to give young refugees a new perspective in life. Since then, ten percent of trainee positions in Austria's T-Mobile Shops have been reserved for young refugees who enter the country without their families and are supported by "lobby.16." This association organizes training and continuing education for young unaccompanied refugees.

We have gathered a valuable experience since the task force was first launched and struck a positive balance at the end of 2015. We plan to continue these aid efforts in 2016.

You can find an overview of the involvement of our national companies here:

The Deutsche Telekom foundation sponsors numerous projects involving STEM img subjects to improve the skills of young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and get them excited about careers in these fields. One excellent example is the Junior Engineer Academy (JIA), which was founded in 2005. The academy helps secondary schools in Germany develop a STEM profile. 75 schools were involved in the JIA network at the end of 2015 and the project has reached around 4,500 students since its founding. The Junior Engineer Academy will begin establishing technology-related school partnerships in central, eastern and southeastern Europe in 2016.

“Be a math whiz”
The PISA study revealed that around 20 percent of young people in Germany only have basic math skills upon completing their mandatory education. The Deutsche Telekom foundation initiated the "Be a math whiz" project in 2010 to help students early on in their educational careers. The project develops, tests and distributes special course material for students in the lower secondary level. This is supplemented by continuing education courses for teachers throughout Germany held at the German Center for Mathematics Teacher Education (DZLM). The effectiveness of the materials will be evaluated on a regular basis in the future. For this purpose the math skills of 4,500 students were tested and their teachers were surveyed during the reporting period. As a result, we identified a surprisingly high need for assistance - up to 80 percent of the students per class at some schools. The overall results of the skills assessment have been available since the end of 2015. They provide a basis for future evaluations so that we can track progress. Further tests will be conducted in 2016 and 2017 to assess whether the students are able to retain the skills they learn in the long run. Simultaneously, we will continue distributing course material.

“MINTeinander” project
The aim of the MINTeinander project, which was launched in 2013, is to teach STEM (or MINT in German) skills to children from preschool to secondary school ages using course material developed by the project. The second call for applications in fall 2015 was targeted at preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools that collaborate with other institutions in their region and want to improve their natural sciences course offer. Together with the newly selected institutions, since January 2016 the project has supported a total of 291 preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools collaborating in 61 preschool/school networks, including one from Argentina and one from the U.S. Each school is given an experiment set on magnetism as well as accompanying didactic material developed by a group of experts from the University of Münster. Teachers of institutions that recently joined can take advantage of free continuing education offers conducted by experienced experts from the network. The foundation will be launching another call for applications in September 2016, where preschool/school networks can apply for materials on the topic "Sink or swim”.

Junior Science Café
How much research is involved in a smartphone? How will we be communicating with each other in 20 years? In the Junior Science Café (JSC) project, students aged 14 through 18 organize discussion panels with experts where they can talk about science-related topics in a relaxed atmosphere. The main focus of the project is to encourage students to act independently. They choose the topic and the experts and plan and moderate the panel discussions, which introduces them to different scientific topics.

The project, which the Deutsche Telekom foundation is conducting in collaboration with the Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD) business initiative, struck a favorable balance in 2015: A total of roughly 30 schools throughout Germany participated in the project and 18 café events were held during the reporting period. Students invited around 50 experts to come to their schools and discuss topics such as digital forensics, communication in the aerospace sector and smart home technology. Around 1,300 visitors attended the discussions.

New project: STEM reading mentors
What happens when a volcano erupts and how does a satnav work? Exciting stories can be used to explain many natural science and technological phenomena. The new collaboration between the Deutsche Telekom foundation and the German Reading Foundation expands on this idea. The aim of the collaboration is to recruit volunteer mentors to read stories involving the STEM subjects to children between the ages of three and ten and get them excited about contents dealing with mathematics, natural sciences and technology. The foundations created a special list of STEM media tips containing both classic books and digital offers such as apps and animated e-books. The collaboration got the ball rolling on International Volunteer Day with a "reading hour" at Deutsche Telekom headquarters. Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Höttges, Professor Wolfgang Schuster, Chairman of the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung Executive Board, and Dr. Jörg F. Maas, Chief Executive of the German Reading Foundation, participated in the event.

Training for reading mentors via face-to-face events and online courses began in 2016. They will then be able to work with children at day-care centers and elementary schools. Upon request, the German Reading Foundation's Reading Network also helps volunteers locate suitable schools or day-care centers. Deutsche Telekom offers its employees the opportunity to volunteer as a reading mentor within the context of the company's Social Days. 50 employees participated in the new project in 2015.

Deutsche Telekom's Center for Strategic Projects (CSP) has been supporting the international student network, Enactus, for several years. We advise student teams at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management when it comes to realizing their own social and environmental projects and business concepts.

Deutsche Telekom took on a new role as an Enactus incubator in mid-2015. In this role, we systematically support newly formed student teams by offering method training, coaching and networking opportunities.

This is how we are currently supporting the Enactus team at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar in their project activities - and it's been a success so far. During the reporting period, the team we coach at WHU Vallendar won the Rookie Award for the best up-and-coming team at the Enactus 2015 National Cup for their 2nd Home project. In the project refugees are trained to become care professionals and receive German lessons, thereby offering them new career perspectives. Caritas, the German Red Cross and the AWO welfare organization support the project.

Deutsche Telekom also provides general support to all the student teams. During the Enactus team weekend in December 2015, project managers from more than 40 Enactus student teams in Germany were given a good overview of helpful methods for conducting projects. Deutsche Telekom introduced tried-and-true project management methods to the students and shared experience gained in strategic transformation projects conducted by the company.

T-Mobile Netherlands’ partnership with and main sponsorship of the NGO War Child helps children in war areas, and particularly in Lebanon, to enjoy an education. This is made possible through a grant, the provision of free consultancy, and raising money through employee initiatives.

2015 was a year of great engagement with around 600 employees involved, help provided to 25,000 children, and a record sum of nearly €350,000 raised for War Child.

In 2015 T-Mobile Netherlands again provided a call center facility for War Child, in particular for their TV show. More than 10,000 friends (monthly donors) were reached and helped by the 400 employees volunteering their services at the call center.

Lebanon and the war in Syria
About 1.5 million Syrian children have fled the civil war in Syria to neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Ever since the beginning of the conflict, Syrian children have been severely affected by illegal detainment, sexual abuse, and exposure to hostilities.  War Child provides Safe Spaces and psychosocial relief for Syrian refugee children. Parents and carers are also involved. The lion’s share of the money T-Mobile Netherlands raised in 2015 went to Lebanon. A delegation of T-Mobile colleagues visited Lebanon to experience for themselves what great work War Child is doing and how the company’s support for War Child is helping children and their families. In addition, the company has provided War Child employees with free subscriptions and free handhelds.

Vluchtelingewerk Nederland
Over the past 12 years T-Mobile Netherlands has supported War Child in its aid work in war regions. However, in view of the current refugee crisis it was decided to initiate a local partnership with Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland. The company donated technology and a pre-paid SIM card with €10 of credit for data or voice service use to the first 10,000 refugees. As part of the Social SIMs initiative (see above), these SIM cardholders are also being invited to job application workshops and soft skill training courses, as well as being provided with apps to help them to find their way around the Netherlands.

The partnership between UNICEF and the Telekom for Macedonia Foundation aims to raise awareness of the importance of early education. After all, children develop most in the first five years of their lives, and children who attend high-quality pre-school programs are more successful in school and life in general. To this end, the partnership is striving to open early childhood development centers so that children from vulnerable environments enjoy the same opportunities for early education as their peers who go to kindergartens.

In order to close the gap between urban and rural areas, where kindergartens are underrepresented, the new early childhood development centers are being built in the communities that need them most. Overall, ten centers, with nearly 400 children enrolled, have been opened.

The Telekom for Macedonia Foundation made an initial cash donation of US$50,000 (€ 46,000) to help pay for the new centers, and also donated some of the revenues from text messages sent on New Year’s Eve.

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