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Our approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion

More than 200 000 people work at Deutsche Telekom – and every one of them is unique. This diversity is our strength. For us, diversity means offering our employees numerous opportunities to grow professionally and to develop personally – regardless of their age, gender identity and gender features, physical and mental abilities, nationality, social and ethnic background, religion and beliefs, and sexual orientation. We promote equal opportunities for everyone and are clearly committed to the different dimensions of diversity. We have a Group-wide approach for upholding this commitment: It is based on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Group Policy (formerly “Diversity Policy”), our six Guiding Principles, and our Code of Human Rights

Living diversity, equity, and inclusion
We are proud to employ people who are committed to the different aspects of diversity and actively help us shape our corporate culture. Our employees have joined together in numerous global and local networks, which we call employee resource groups (ERGs img) and corporate communities. In these employee initiatives, they devise a variety of measures and implement them together, actively helping to strengthen awareness for diversity and equity among the workforce. The ERGs meet once a month in Group-wide community calls, in which they receive relevant updates for their groups from Group Headquarters and have the opportunity to share best practices and current challenges with one another. In Germany, for example, our employees in the “BIPoC@DT” ERG support the Black, Indigenous and People of Color community. New groups founded in the reporting year include the “Social Movers”, an ERG that focuses on social background, the “BetterTogether” community for intergenerational collaboration, and a network for neurodiversity. T‑Mobile US has six internal ERGs for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). 

Our diversity strategy is aligned with efforts such as those described above and pursues initiatives aimed at promoting participation among all these dimensions. We signed the UN Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people in 2017. This abbreviation refers to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual. In addition, the MagentaPride ERG was founded back in 2002. Since then, it has worked unceasingly to support our LGBTQIA+ employees and help them through difficult life situations. To draw attention to discrimination of queer people and support them in their fight for more rights and greater visibility, we celebrated with them once again in 2023 at pride marches and Christopher Street parades in a variety of countries.

As another important step toward creating an inclusive corporate culture, we published the first version of our Transgender Guide in 2022, to support a trans-inclusive workplace and show how to create a trans-inclusive work environment. The Guide is intended for all employees and provides assistance with questions like “What support is available for transition, outing, and fundamental changes at work?” and “What can I do when I experience or witness discrimination?” At the same time, the Guide also serves as a source of information for all employees who want to learn more about this topic and lend their support. Further steps toward becoming inclusive for employees who identify as trans or non-binary include ongoing updates to our IT systems with regard to gender-sensitive forms of address and the possibility to self-identify, as well as the creation of all-gender restrooms at several sites in Germany.

The establishment of multifaith prayer and meditation rooms at selected sites in Germany, a project initiated in late 2022, is another step intended to reflect the real lives of our employees in the designs of our buildings.

To express our appreciation and respect of all people, we generally use a neutral, inclusive form of address and are committed to gender-sensitive communication. As such, gender-neutral language is an integral part of our editorial guide for corporate communications.

To ensure that our employees can contribute their abilities as best as possible in all walks of life, we also support the work-life balance in the context of equal opportunity – for example, through flexible working hours, hybrid working models, and part-time work.

Our commitment to diversity also includes our efforts to promote digital participation. We take a number of approaches to make our networks, products, and services as accessible and non-discriminatory as possible. 

We are a founding member of the “Diversity Charter” business initiative as well as a cooperation partner in a number of other national and international initiatives for diversity, equity, and participation – because we want to promote these topics both within and outside the company. Unfortunately, diversity efforts are unevenly distributed. The impact assessment of our materiality analysis identified a significant risk of discrimination incidents due to origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity in countries in our upstream and downstream value chains. Violations of our Guiding Principles and corporate values can be reported at any time through our anonymous whistleblower portal Tell me! and to our Threat Management unit. We follow up on every tip-off on violations. We have also implemented a comprehensive supplier management system to address these and other risks in our upstream value chain.

Diversity in figures
People from more than 120 countries work successfully together at Deutsche Telekom. The average age of our employees was 41.4 years in the reporting year. 

All in all in the reporting year, 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 (excluding T-Mobile US). We have enacted various measures in order to achieve our goal of 30 percent. 

7.6 percent (as of Dec. 31, 2023) of our employees in Germany have disabilities, putting us well over the statutory quota of five percent. Nearly 2 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. The Group Representatives for Employees with Disabilities present annual Inclusion Awards to recognize projects that advocate for the support and retention of employees with disabilities at the company.

We received multiple awards in the reporting year for our commitment to diversity.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 2-10 (General Disclosures)
  • GRI 405 3-3 (Management of material topics)
  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)
  • GRI 406 3-3 (Management of material topics)

Our contribution to the SDGs


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.

The initiative declared the eleventh German Diversity Day in May 2023 under the motto #FlaggeFürVielfalt (#FlagForDiversity). As part of the Rhine-Ruhr Diversity Network, we participated with an online event on the topic of “Psychological security and belonging”. The Network is a union of global companies and advocates for a corporate culture that promotes diversity in the region. Collaboration and the exchange of ideas in the Network are intended to inspire new ideas and action areas as impetus for companies’ own diversity strategies. The Rhine-Ruhr Diversity Network also celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding in 2023. 

The diversity audit img, established in the higher education sector in 2013 under the name “Create Diversity”, evolved into the “Diversity Compass” (only available in German) in 2022 through our efforts and those of the Diversity Charter, the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany (Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft), and representatives of other companies. The aim of this effort was 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. The “Diversity Compass” was launched as a pilot project with a variety of companies in January 2023. The field service department of the Germany segment img took part in the pilot phase for Deutsche Telekom and developed custom-tailored targets for its workforce. In the long term, we hope the Compass will help to audit and continue develop measures aimed at promoting diversity. 

Together with coaches experienced in anti-racism work, the Diversity Charter developed an online toolbox in recent years on the topic of “Anti-racist awareness-raising – building expertise for diversity at the workplace.” In 2022, Deutsche Telekom tested this toolbox in a pilot phase in a number of workshops with members from the ERGs img in Germany. The toolbox was published externally in March 2023 and can now be used by anyone who wants to serve as a multiplier for anti-racism topics in their own organization.


United States segment: diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)

DE&I has always been a part of the Un-carrier culture, and the segment is committed to having DE&I touch every aspect of its future. Providing equitable opportunities for all is also a key focus of the ESG img framework at T-Mobile US.

Equity In Action (EIA) plan
In 2020, T-Mobile US launched its five-year EIA plan spanning the values the segment lives by including how investments are made, how opportunities are provided to employees, how suppliers are selected, and how the company advocates for communities. T-Mobile US made 54 DE&I Promises as part of its EIA plan. 

EIA was built by listening to employees at T-Mobile US. Their feedback identified areas where the segment could further evolve, shift, and align as an organization. This plan is anchored to what matters most: 

  • TALENT – T-Mobile US recognizes that the company is stronger and more innovative as a result of diversity. That’s why the segment’s hiring and development programs are enhanced by equitably expanding opportunities for talent.
  • CULTURE – T-Mobile US lives its value One Team Together by creating a culture of respect and belonging. That’s why the segment engages employees, listens, solves pain points, educates, and takes action.
  • BRAND – We all win when our communities thrive. That’s why T-Mobile US drives equity by investing in communities through its Foundation, partners, Employee Resource Groups img (ERGs), and DE&I Chapters.
  • DIGITAL EQUITY – T-Mobile US increases digital equity by expanding access to connectivity, skills development, and internships.

As a part of the Equity In Action plan, T‑Mobile US established an External Diversity and Inclusion Council, which includes members from civil rights and social justice organizations. The External Council helps guide and support the EIA plan and delivery of the 54 DE&I promises. We have achieved the majority of our EIA Promises.

Employee-led diversity
Beginning as an employee-led grassroots movement, employee resource groups (ERGs) at T-Mobile US are an important part of the company culture. The six ERGs and four sub-affinity groups of T-Mobile drive actions to solve business and employee pain points while celebrating the rich diversity of employees’ culture, heritage, and experience. The DE&I 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). They foster a sense of belonging by sparking conversations and providing opportunities to develop leadership skills. 

Joining forces on a military hiring mission
T-Mobile US is dedicated to building lasting careers for veterans and military spouses and the company is proud to have met its goal of hiring 10 000 military veterans and their spouses at the end of 2023. Military families are reached through job fairs and Veterans Affairs offices and through partnerships with groups like FourBlock, Hiring our Heroes, and Warriors4Wireless. T-Mobile US also expanded recruiting efforts with American Vets Group, BlueStar Families, Tech for Troops, Warriors & Quiet Waters, in addition to others. 

T-Mobile US continued to support its Military Fellowship Program, a 12-week internship program with T-Mobile US, and the Military Spouse Fellowship Program to provide enhanced opportunities to transitioning service members. In that same spirit, the company is evaluating how the existing benefits support military families to make employment with T-Mobile US more feasible.


Europe segment: diversity

Deutsche Telekom’s corporate culture forms the foundation for our everyday work. “Act with respect and integrity” is one of our Guiding Principles, which we always follow – even under extremely heterogeneous societal and political frameworks like those in the Europe segment. Accordingly, diversity is an important topic for the segment and is actively practiced at our national companies. 

Our national company in Croatia stands for a “world of equal opportunity”. We consider individuality and diversity in our teams to be strengths, and advocate for equal opportunity for promotion and growth for everyone. 

The efforts of our Polish national company are being noticed and are reflected, for example, in acknowledgment received in the framework of the annual Diversity IN Check survey, which is organized by the Polish NGO Responsible Business Forum. This distinction was awarded once again in the reporting year. Based on a survey, companies are rated on their ability to manage diversity and build integrative organizations.


Commitment to a larger share of women

Our contribution to the SDGs

As a signatory to the “Women Empowerment Principles” of the United Nations, we have made it our goal to increase the proportion of women on the Supervisory Board, the Board of Management, and upper and upper management: we want to achieve a 30-percent share of women worldwide 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
  • Specifically addressing female talent through cooperative activities and at events
  • Promoting the generation shift between male executives due to leave the company in the near future and female junior staff (mentoring)
  • Increasingly filling management positions with female talent, including a target quota of 40 percent in the Global Talent Hub
  • Access to external programs such as the IWIL (International Women in Leadership) community through our Global Talent Hub, where we enable participation in the “Leadership Next Academy” and a program for female mentors
  • Maintaining or increasing the diversity targets, including in transformation processes, especially when filling management positions
  • Intersectional offerings to improve the visibility of BIPoC women at Deutsche Telekom (in cooperation with the publishers of the book “People of Deutschland”, with whom we developed a special Deutsche Telekom issue in the reporting year that profiled Deutsche Telekom employees with a migration background) 
  • A systematic review of the “employee life cycle”, to identify and eliminate systematic obstacles – for example, by asking questions about participation in exit interviews
  • Signing the “Joint declaration against sexism and sexual harassment” issued by the “Gemeinsam gegen Sexismus” (“Fighting sexism together”) alliance in the reporting year. This effort is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and pursued together with EAF Berlin. It aims to recognize sexism and sexual harassment, name it as such, and establish effective countermeasures 

Together with the heads of our segments, we reached 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 in recent years. The proportion of women in middle and upper management was 27.9 percent in the reporting year. At 45 percent, we have already exceeded our 30 percent target for the Group Supervisory Board (2022: 50 percent). We have also been successful with regard to the statutory gender quota for supervisory boards in Germany since January 1, 2016; in this area, at 47.3 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, 2023), the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management also exceeds our own and the legally mandated requirements. However, further efforts are needed to meet the target mentioned above for the remaining management positions on the two levels beneath the Board of Management, in 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 in Germany. By the end of the reporting year, the proportion of women studying technical subjects stood at 14 percent.

Our commitment to gender equality was recognized for the sixth year in a row in 2023 with our inclusion in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index img (GEI). Further information can be found here.

Networking for success
Our locally organized women’s networks help women reach management positions by providing support, advice, and exchange with other women. All of Deutsche Telekom’s women’s networks met for the first time at an international event in the summer of 2023, with a total of 220 women participating on site or in the provided live stream.

Promoting female STEM img specialists
With carefully targeted messaging, we are seeking to attract talented women to our company. In particular, we support women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects and careers:  As part of our partnership with Femtec, we once again organized an innovation workshop in 2022/2023. 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. During the five-month innovation workshop, 20 international women fellows developed technically innovative and green solutions for intelligent, energy-independent cell sites in Germany and the EU. We also invited current and former Femtec women fellows to a variety of events, including Digital X and our Magenta Campus Tour, to help them stay in contact and advise them on hiring and career opportunities. Through our cooperation with “ITgirls”, we want to reach out to female school and university students and encourage them to pursue a promising career in the IT sector.


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 one-third and expect this number to increase slightly over time.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 2-7 (General Disclosures)
  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

Percentage of women in middle and upper management KPI

We continued to pursue our goal of having a 30-percent share of women in management positions in 2023.

In Germany, the percentage of women in middle and upper management rose from 23.4 percent to 24.1 percent in 2023. The international figure decreased slightly and stood at 31.5 percent at the end of the reporting year (2022: 32.1 percent). Group-wide, the proportion of women in middle and upper management fell from 28.1 to 27.9 percent in 2023.

Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

Principle Adverse Impacts (PAIs)

  • Socials and employee matters

Percentage of women on the management board KPI

We already achieved our target of having a 30-percent share of women in management positions in 2020. A third woman was appointed to the Board of Management in November 2020. With a share of women of 37.5 percent, we were among the top five DAX companies in this category. Deutsche Telekom is one of only a handful of DAX corporations with an established track record of women on its Board of Management. The number of women working in the international management team reporting to the Group Board of Management has also risen. 

In addition, we aim to make the membership of the Board of Management more diverse with regard to other dimensions, such as nationality and age, to bring different experiences and background together and increase the range of opinions and skills for good company management.


Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 2-10 (General Disclosures)
  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

Principle Adverse Impacts (PAIs)

  • Social and employee matters

Percentage of women on the Supervisory Boards KPI

The share of women in our fully consolidated European companies was 38.9 percent (47.3 percent in Germany).

Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

Principle Adverse Impacts (PAIs)

  • Social and employee matters

Employees with disabilities KPI

Deutsche Telekom has already exceeded the prescribed minimum rate of 5 percent of employees with disabilities for a good many years, so that it heads the list of DAX 30 companies on this count. In 2023, the share of people with disabilities at Deutsche Telekom was 7.6 percent and has therefore fallen slightly.

Through the Group inclusion agreement and Inclusion 2.0 action plan, the Group has created a framework for complying with the requirements of Art. 3 (3) sentence 2 of the German Basic Law and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to create and guarantee a professional livelihood for persons with disabilities, and to promote their professional advancement. The ongoing measures and initiatives in this context aim to identify and eliminate barriers that stand in the way of full participation by people with disabilities.

in % 2016 a) 2017 b) 2018 b) 2019 c) 2020 c) 2021 c) 2022 c) 2023 d)
a) excl. Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners Management GmbH, Detecon International GmbH, Cronon AG, Strato AG, Deutsche Telekom Clinical Solutions GmbH, Orbit GmbH, operational services GmbH & Co. KG

b) excl. Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners Management GmbH, Detecon International GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Clinical Solutions GmbH, Orbit GmbH, operational services GmbH & Co. KG, HÄVG GmbH

c) excl. Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners Management GmbH, Detecon International GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Clinical Solutions GmbH, Orbit GmbH, operational services GmbH & Co. KG, HÄVG, goingsoft Deutschland, Toll4Europe GmbH

d) excl. Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners Management GmbH, Detecon International GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Clinical Solutions GmbH, Orbit GmbH, operational services GmbH & Co. KG, goingsoft Deutschland, Toll4Europe GmbH, GeoMobile GmbH, Comfortcharge GmbH
Group (total) in Germany 7.5 7.5 7.6 7.6 7.5 7.7 7.7 7.6

Further information about this is available in the HR Factbook.


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 405-1 (Diversity and Equal Opportunity)

Promoting the diversity of our young talent in Germany

Right during the process for hiring new colleagues, we emphasize diversity and consider options other than just traditional educational and life paths. We make targeted efforts to promote diversity among our junior staff. To this end, we analyze and promote the diverse potential of young people. Under certain circumstances, apprentices at Deutsche Telekom can take their training on a part-time basis. Dual students also have the option of completing their cooperative study program on a part-time basis under certain circumstances – if they are single parents, for example. In addition, we offered DiscoverMINT@telekom, a one-year orientation program, for the second year running in 2023. This program targets young people with university entrance qualifications who are still unsure what to do with respect to their further training. In close cooperation with their instructors, participants are supported and coached for twelve months during the program at Deutsche Telekom, experience professional practice, and attend courses and events at the university. The program is intended to help participants to get acquainted with the dual-study STEM img environment and make a sound decision for the next step in their development. We also continue to offer young refugees opportunities to start their careers through the DiscoverMINT program – an apprenticeship, or a dual study program. We generally ensure that all applicants who wish to start a career at Deutsche Telekom can enjoy a non-discriminatory application process. As of December 31, 2023, around 6 percent of the apprentices and dual students we employed were of non-German nationality; in total, 63 nations were represented.

Our contribution to the SDGs


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  • Highlights

    We are working on behalf

    of an online world in which all people

    can participate and coexist in

    keeping with democratic principles

    We are working on behalf of an online world in which all people can participate and coexist in keeping with democratic principles

    Via our “No hate speech” initiative, we once again reached a great many people (about 865 million media contacts), including the many opinion leaders and educators (about 5.7 million people) we contacted directly.

    Our “ShareWithCare” campaign also reached a great many people – and it has played an important role, worldwide, in discussion about online sharing of photos of children. With over 250 million media contacts, ShareWithCare has successfully raised awareness about issues surrounding online sharing of children’s photos and data.

    Also, via programs such as Teachtoday and Scroller, we have continued working to promote media literacy in people of all ages, always with the aim of helping people navigate cyberspace safely, securely and with confidence.

    More than 200 000 people work at Deutsche Telekom – and every one of them is unique. This diversity is our strength. In keeping with our understanding of diversity, we offer our employees many ways to keep developing and growing professionally and personally. Thanks to such efforts, our employees’ satisfaction levels remain high: In 2023, our “engagement score,” which is calculated on the basis of responses in subject areas such as mood, employer attractiveness, brand identity, and inspiration, totaled 76 percent.

    Detailed examples of our progress in 2023, described from the perspectives of both the Group and our segments, are presented in the subsections.

    Highlight numbers

    Highlight numbers

    Progress of selected KPIs in  2023

    • 2022 2023

    • Community Contribution 2 346m. € 1 504m. €

    • Beneficiaries – Focus Topics 41m. 51m.

    • Reach – Focus Topics 2 070m. 1 734m.

    • Employee satisfaction 78% 76%

    • Proportion of women in middle and upper management 28.1% 27.9%

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