Our approach to diversity and equal opportunity

Our contribution to the SDGs

Diversity makes us strong
More than 200 000 perople work at Deutsche Telekom – and no two of those people are alike. Every one of those people is unique, in their own way. This diversity is our strength.

For us, diversity means offering our employees numerous opportunities to grow professionally and to develop individually – regardless of their age, ethnic background and nationality, gender and gender identity, mental and physical abilities, religion and world view, sexual orientation or social origin. We are clearly committed to diversity and have a Group-wide approach for upholding that commitment. It is based on our “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” Group Policy (formerly, “Diversity Policy”), our six Guiding Principles, our Employee Relations Policy and our policy statement “Code of Human Rights & Social Principles.” We are also a founding member of the corporate initiative “Diversity Charter,” and we aim to promote and capitalize on diversity both within and outside of the company.

In 2021, we proclaimed March our “Diversity Month.” Throughout that entire month, and on a worldwide basis, we raised managers’ and employees’ awareness about various diversity issues, and invited their participation in our efforts. With one voice, the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG called on employees to take the time to learn from one another and to create a more inclusive environment. Employees were invited to attend a range of presentations, on subjects such as antiracism, visibility of transgender people, and analysis of the gender-specific pay gap. The presenters included employees from Germany, Hungary, and the United States, along with speakers from outside the company – such as a queer refugee now in Germany. In addition, employees were invited to take an active role in events as “#AIHack4Mobility” and the “Female STEM img Award.” Campaigns such as the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge, with more than 100 participants, from a total of more than 20 international Deutsche Telekom locations, reached more than 43 000 people via social media.

We have been experiencing many changes since 2020 in particular, via the global pandemic and digitalization – and including changes in both the workplace and in society. As a result, in 2021 we revised our existing Diversity Policy, and adopted the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” Group Policy. The purposes of this change are a) to highlight the ambitions that we as a company have in promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and b) to expand our gender-diversity focus into other dimensions – such as health conditions and sexual orientation. We are working hard to ensure that all people receive the same opportunities, regardless of their personal circumstances. in December 2021, we launched the internal campaign “Connected As One,” as an introductory measure. We want to encourage all employees to enter into dialog with their colleagues, and we invite all employees to become involved in relevant activities and networks. At the end of 2020, we established an international diversity network, in cooperation with more than 30 other companies, in order to promote exchange of best practices. With this cooperative effort, we aim to highlight diversity and equal opportunity issues even more strongly, including at the global level. Our goal is inclusion for everyone without any type of discrimination. The Group Policy is also available in a “simplified German-language” version, and in a special version for the sight-impaired.

Violations of our Guiding Principles and corporate values can be reported at any time to our anonymous whistleblower portal “Tell me!”, to our threat-management unit, and to our Contact Point for Human Rights.

Right during the process for hiring new colleagues, we emphasize diversity and consider options other than just traditional educational and life paths. Good examples of such options include our entry-level training scheme (only available in German) for disadvantaged young people and our part-time training program. Also, students, including students who are single parents, have the option of completing a dual study program on a part-time basis. To ensure that all employees can make the best-possible use of their abilities, we support employees’ work-life balance with an extensive Work-Life Portfolio – with options such as family caregiver leave, lifetime work accounts, time off for education, job-sharing, mobile working, and working from home.

Diversity in figures
People from some 150 countries work successfully together at Deutsche Telekom. The average age of our employees, throughout the Group, is 41.8 years. At the end of 2021, 14 percent of employees covered by collective agreements and 18.2 percent of Deutsche Telekom civil servants throughout Germany were working part-time.

All in all in the year under review, 35.7 percent of our total workforce were women. We have a particularly strong commitment to gender equality, and we have made it a priority for more than two decades. One of our central goals is to increase the share of women in expert and managerial positions; by 2025, we want to have women in at least 30 percent of our leadership positions worldwide. With regard to our legal entities in Germany, we have already achieved this goal in our Supervisory Board (as of Dec. 31, 2021: 42.2 percent) and in the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG (as of Dec. 31, 2021: 37.5 percent). Our mid-level and upper-level management positions in Germany are now occupied by women to a degree of 24.5 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively (as of Dec. 31, 2021). Worldwide, the women's share of our management positions is 27.3 percent (as of Dec. 31, 2021). We have enacted various measures in order to achieve our defined goal of 30 percent.

7.7 percent (as of Dec. 31, 2021) of our employees in Germany are disabled, putting us well over the statutory quota of five percent. More than one percent of our apprentices and dual students in Germany are young people with disabilities – that figure, in comparison to the total share of young people with disabilities in our society, shows that we train above-average numbers of young people in this segment as well.

In 2021, we presented the internal company Inclusion Award from the Group Representatives for the Disabled for the fifth time. This award honors internal company projects that were carried out last year with the aim of supporting employees with disabilities, and helping to retain them in the company.

Recognition for our achievements
In 2021, we received the “equal-pay check” (“eg-check”) certificate of the German Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency for a second time. The certificate process analyzes and highlights men's and women's salaries for work that is comparable or of equal value. Salaries at the company are based solely on the type of work being performed. Aspects such as gender, ethnic background, and sexual orientation do not factor in at all. Also in 2021, we again earned first place, among DAX-listed companies, in the BCG Gender Diversity Index img. The criteria for the honor included the share of women, and the relevant remuneration ratio, on our Board of Management and our Supervisory Board. In addition, we were included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index (GEI), with top marks. The Index tracks the performance of listed companies that have committed themselves to transparency in use of gender-specific indicators. The GEI measures and evaluates gender-equality performance in a total of five areas: Female leadership and talent pipeline; equal pay and gender pay parity; inclusive culture; anti-sexual harassment policies; and pro-women brand. In addition, we were again honored as one of the best companies for women: In an employer study carried out by the magazine “Brigitte,” looking at aspects such as work-life balance, career advancement, transparency, and gender equality, we were named one of the best employers for women – and received five stars, the highest ranking. Other awards (including both internal and external awards) for commitment in the area of diversity, in the year under review, went to T-Mobile Polska (Telekom Team-Award, ”Diversity IN Check” certificate), T-Systems Mexico (Mexican Standard on Labor Equality and Non-Discrimination) and T-Mobile US (Comparably award for “Best Global Company Culture,” and the Forbes award ”America's Best Employers for Diversity 2021”).

Diversity Charter

Our contribution to the SDGs

The Diversity Charter is an independent economic initiative that is supported by around 4 500 companies and institutions in Germany. Its aim is to create a work environment in which diversity among employees, and their many different abilities and talents, is valued. Such an environment opens up opportunities for innovative and creative solutions. Deutsche Telekom is a founding member of the Diversity Charter association. In addition, a number of our national companies are also members of this initiative – including T-Systems ITC Iberia, and Magyar Telekom in Hungary.

Currently, in an effort in cooperation with the Diversity Charter and representatives of other companies, we are working to refine the Diversity Audit img “Shaping diversity” (“Vielfalt gestalten”; only available in German), which has been established in the higher education sector since 2013. The aim of the effort is to adapt the audit to the specific requirements and interests of companies. This will enable companies – including Deutsche Telekom – to use the audit in future to review and refine their own measures in the area of diversity.

Commitment to a larger share of women

Our contribution to the SDGs

We are aiming to increase the share of women on our Supervisory Board and our Board of Management, and among our mid-level and high-level managers. Specifically, we plan to increase the share of women in these areas, worldwide, to 30 percent by 2025. We are implementing numerous measures to this end:

  • Our opportunities to achieve a good work-life balance through parental leave arrangements, flexible working hours, and childcare services
  • The mentoring program “Child and Career,” for managers, junior managers and expert staff at Deutsche Telekom
  • Specifically addressing female talent through cooperative activities and at events
  • Filling more leadership positions with female talents
  • Promoting the generation shift between male executives due to leave the company in the near future and female junior staff (mentoring)
  • Maintaining or increasing the diversity score, also in transformation processes, especially when filling management positions
  • Additional support and networking services, such as training courses on unconscious bias; exchanges with Employee Resource Groups; and the “Connected As One” communication campaign for the launch of our revised “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” Group Policy.

Together with the heads of our segments, we reach agreement on implementation plans for increasing our women's quota. Our diverse range of measures has allowed us to continuously increase the share of women in management positions – worldwide, from 12.5 percent in 2010 to 27.3 percent on December 31, 2021.

At 45 percent, we have already exceeded our 30 percent target for the Group Supervisory Board. We have also been successful with regard to the gender quota for Supervisory Board committees that has been legally mandated in Germany since January 1, 2016; in this area, at 42.2 percent, we are within the overall average for all legal entities in Germany. With a share of women of 37.5 percent (as of December 31, 2021), the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management also exceeds our own requirements and the legally mandated requirements. However, further efforts are needed to meet the above target for the remaining management positions on the two levels beneath the Board of Management level – the management of the national companies, and the internal supervisory boards in Germany.

We are also working to increase the number of women participating in dual study programs in technical fields. While in 2010 the share of women in these study programs was only 11 percent in Germany, it has meanwhile risen to around 15 percent (as of December 31, 2021).

Networking for success
Our women’s network Women@Telekom helps women reach management positions by providing support and counseling, and facilitating interaction with other women. In 2018, 2019 and 2021, the network organized an AI Hackathon img (AI = artificial intelligence), with a view to bringing women together, in diverse teams, for creative, successful tackling of programming challenges. A third AI Hackathon, which was originally planned for October 2020, had to be postponed until March 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entitled “#AIHack4Mobility,” it was carried out virtually, with participants from a total of 15 countries. Also in the year under review, volunteers representing the network launched a new talk-show series entitled “Diversi-T Career Talks.” In a total of seven events with Board of Management members and executive staff, they encouraged employees to take on leadership tasks, regardless of their background.

Promoting female STEM img specialists
With carefully targeted messaging, we are seeking to attract talented women to our company. As part of this effort, we promote women in STEM subjects and professions (STEM = science, technology, engineering, mathematics). In 2021, for example, we invited female students from around the world to apply for our eighth Women's STEM Award. In addition, we conducted an innovation workship in the framework of our partnership with Femtec. Femtec, a cooperative effort being undertaken by major companies, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, leading German technical universities, and ETH Zürich, is aimed at finding young female talent for STEM professions and developing it. At the innovation workshop, a group of nearly 30 scholarship holders developed, over a five-month period, a technically innovative, green solution for smart, energy-autonomous cellular base stations. In addition, we are committed to “Global Digital Women,” an international network of women working to increase the percentage of women in digital professions.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

Percentage of women in total workforce KPI

In recent years, we have succeeded in maintaining the proportion of women in the total workforce at over a third and expect a slight upward trend in the future.

Percentage of women in middle and upper management KPI

In 2021, as well, we continued pursuing the goal of achieving 30 percent women in management positions. 

In Germany, the percentage of women in middle and upper management rose from 22.2 percent to 22.7 percent in 2021. Likewise, the figure for the entire Group increased and now stands at 27.3 percent.

You can find further information in the HR Factbook.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 15 (Equal Opportunity)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • S10-01 (Percentage of female employees in relation to total employees)
  • S10-02 (Percentage of female FTEs img in senior positions in relation to total FTEs in senior 
    positions)

Percentage of women on the management board KPI

In 2020 we achieved the goal of 30 percent women in management positions. Since November 2020, a third woman has been appointed to the Board of Management. We continue to be at the top of all DAX Groups with a female share of 37.5 percent.

Deutsche Telekom is one of the few DAX Groups where women have been part of the Board of Management for several years now. In addition, more and more women are working in international management teams below the Board of Management level.

   

You can find further information here and in the HR Factbook.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 15 (Equal Opportunity)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • S10-01 (Percentage of female employees in relation to total employees)
  • S10-02 (Percentage of female FTEs img in senior positions in relation to total FTEs in senior 
    positions)

Percentage of women on the Supervisory Boards KPI

In the supervisory boards of our fully-consolidated European subsidiaries, the percentage of women totals 25 percent (in Germany: 42.2 percent).

You can find further information here and in the HR Factbook.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 15 (Equal Opportunity)

European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)

  • S10-01 (Percentage of female employees in relation to total employees)
  • S10-02 (Percentage of female FTEs img in senior positions in relation to total FTEs in senior 
    positions)

Employees with disabilities KPI

Deutsche Telekom has already exceeded the prescribed minimum rate of 5 percent of disabled employees for a good many years, so that it heads the list of DAX 30 companies on this count. In 2021, the proportion of severely disabled people at Deutsche Telekom increased to 7.7 percent.


You can find further information here and in the HR Factbook.

Reporting against standards

 

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

German Sustainability Code

  • Criterion 15 (Equal Opportunity)

Global Compact

  • Principle 6 (Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation)

Promoting the diversity of our young talent in Germany

Our contribution to the SDGs

We make targeted efforts to promote diversity among our junior staff. That is why we encourage and support young people from different backgrounds and nationalities. In addition to offering a part-time training program and a part-time dual study program, we also support disadvantaged young people – with an entry-level training internship. Also, school students who have not yet received an apprenticeship position can take part in an internship sponsored by the Federal Employment Agency, and thereby receive the opportunity to become acquainted with an occupation and prepare for regular training in it. The internships run for twelve months, and can in some cases be credited toward a follow-on training program. We also offer young refugees opportunities to take part in entry-level training, regular vocational training or a dual study program. All applicants receive the same opportunities to begin a career with Deutsche Telekom. As of December 31, 2021, 6.52 percent of the apprentices and dual students we employed were of non-German nationality; in total, 49 nations were represented.

More diversity and inclusion for T-Mobile US

In the fall of 2020, the Board of Directors of our national company in the United States adopted a new declaration of intent for more diversity and inclusion. The declaration of intent was also signed by six major American civil rights organizations with whom T-Mobile US plans more intensive collaboration. To that end, T-Mobile US has established a Diversity and Inclusion Council where each of the signing civil rights organizations has a seat. Other organizations are also involved with the council; a complete list is published on the T-Mobile US website. The Council, which has a total of twelve members, advises T-Mobile US with regard to diversity, equity and inclusion issues. In addition, it assists the company in defining relevant priorities and goals, and it provides support for implementation of the company's strategic diversity plan. The Council convened for the first time in 2020. As of 2021, its meetings take place on a quarterly to semiannual basis.

In addition to the new council, T-Mobile US also has an internal Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) network. Participants meet to address current issues, question prejudices, and learn from each other. Tens of thousands of employees – in total, some 36 percent of the company's workforce in the United States – participate in the D&I network. The network includes a group for people with disabilities (Accessibility Community), a multicultural group (Multicultural Alliance), an intergenerational network (Multigenerational Network), an LGBTQI* community (Pride), a network for veterans and active military personnel (Veterans & Allies Network), and a women's network (Women & Allies Network).

T-Mobile US has received a number of awards for its efforts in these areas. In 2021, for example, it received Comparably's “Best Global Company Culture” award and the prestigious Forbes honor “America's Best Employers for Diversity 2021.

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