Diversity and equal opportunities

People from 122 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 is key to helping us stay competitive in the global competition for good ideas and the best products.

We are planning to advance our policies on improving diversity at our company and are offering our employees a variety of opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. Putting more women into management positions plays a key role in our efforts. We are 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. We promote diversity among our staff from the very beginning with our extensive promotion and training programs. This includes our entry-level training program for young people from disadvantaged and weak educational backgrounds. We help our employees create an effective work-life balance with our extensive work-life portfolio. Many of our employees are also involved in internal networks that address various aspects of diversity. Our managers encourage diversity at the Group by getting involved in multiplier and mentor programs, for example.

These activities are based on Deutsche Telekom's Diversity Policy, Guiding Principles and Employee Relations Policy. We are also a founding member of the Diversity Charter.

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 throughout the Group puts us well over the statutory quota of 5 percent.

In 2014 Deutsche Telekom again participated in the Germany-wide activity day held by the Diversity Charter association, the second German Diversity Day. With more than 600 initiatives and around 350 participating companies and organizations, the event again met with tremendous response. One particularly successful initiative was coordinated by Deutsche Telekom trainees who organized a children's Olympics for a total of 50 children with and without disabilities ages 12 to 15. On the evening before the event, Chief Human Resources Officer, Dr. Thomas Kremer, invited the representatives of Deutsche Telekom's internal employee networks to meet and discuss the topic of "Diversity as a success factor  – how diverse is Deutsche Telekom?".

Deutsche Telekom also called for submissions for an ideas competition. Under the slogan "It's normal to be different," employees were asked to submit ideas for putting diversity into practice every day at work and raising employee awareness of the topic. A total of 166 ideas were submitted during the four-week submission period; ten could be implemented right away. The winners were praised by Chief Human Resources Officer, Dr. Thomas Kremer. Deutsche Telekom is planning to participate in German Diversity Day again in 2015.

In November 2014, 19 major corporations, all members of the Diversity Charter association, in collaboration with Federal Commissioner for Immigration, Refugees and Integration, Aydan Özoğuz, called for employers in Germany to see diversity as an opportunity and steer away from choosing trainees based on stereotypes and prejudice. Deutsche Telekom also signed the petition. With various programs, the company has already made diversity a permanent feature in the support it provides for its apprentices. The call for more diversity is based on an ever-growing lack of apprentices, which, according to a current study by the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, affects more than every second company in Germany.

T-Systems South Africa
T-Systems South Africa was recognized for the fifth time for its diversity achievements in August 2014 with the „Gender Mainstreaming Awards“. It received first place in the following categories: Women on Board, Gender and Poverty Alleviation and Investing in Young Women. It won second place for its efforts to improve the role of women. In addition to its success in four of the five categories reviewed, T-Systems South Africa also won the Gender Mainstreaming overall award.

We were particularly pleased to be recognized for T-Systems' volunteer efforts to get more women into management positions. Three of T-Systems South Africa's five-member Managing Board have been women since February 1, 2014. Winning the Gender and Poverty Alleviation Award is also a special achievement. The award recognizes excellent efforts to fight poverty with particular emphasis on supporting and encouraging women. By presenting the award to T-Systems South Africa, the jury recognized the company's participation in establishing the Hazyview Digital Learning Centre (HDLC) in Mpumalanga. The center is mostly visited and operated by women and teaches students from the region key skills in areas such as IT, tourism and English.

T-Systems Singapore
T-Systems Singapore has been recognized for its diversity and inclusive policies in the past. In March 2014, the national company and seven other companies received the 2014 Exemplary Employer Award 2014“ from the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices. To win the award, companies had to undergo a rigorous selection process with interviews and on-site facility visits.

With a wide range of offers to support people with disabilities, we help create equal opportunities for them and get them involved in the community. For years we have been exceeding the statutory minimum ratio of disabled employees of 5 percent, which puts us at the top of the DAX 30 companies; currently, 7 percent of our workforce in Germany are people with disabilities. In 2014 we expanded our existing portfolio of supporting measures: We included a videophone feature in our system to make communication easier for employees with hearing impairments. We also introduced a special service that makes assistive computer technologies easier to use for our blind and visually-impaired employees.

In order to tap the potential of an employee age composition that spans several generations, we established a work group in 2013 that specifically deals with the following demographic issues:

  • Encouraging lifelong learning and the exchange of know-how
  • Preserving and promoting health
  • Supporting an age-sensitive leadership culture
  • Developing a flexible working environment for all life phases
  • Forecasting age-specific headcount development

Our management culture plays a key role in introducing demography-related changes. In the scope of different development programs, we inform our managers about the potential of older employees and about collaboration across generations. We also adjust our continuing education offers to fit the preferred learning methods of different generations. The adjustments are made in accordance with the findings of a study that was conducted by Telekom Training according to which an employee's history as a learner, which also indirectly relates to age, plays a key role when it comes to acquiring knowledge (e.g., type of learner, learning methods and learning preferences).

We were the first of the DAX 30 companies to introduce a quota for women in managerial positions at our company. Since then, the share of women in managerial positions at Deutsche Telekom increased from 19 percent (February 2010) to 25.6 percent (December 2014).

  • On our supervisory boards, the share of women rose from 7.4 percent to 22.6 percent at an international level and from 17.7 percent to 28.1 percent in Germany.
  • The number of women on international management teams below the Group Board of Management level rose from 2 to 8 out of a total of 55.
  • At T-Systems we were also able to increase the share of women in middle and upper managerial positions within four years from 12.1 percent to 15 percent in 2014.

Our commitment to increasing the proportion of women is being consistently anchored throughout the Group. The most innovative measures introduced this year included the launch of our Talents@Telekom platform, which improved the visibility of our up-and-coming female talent at the Group, our program to get women ready for a position on the supervisory board and an initiative to launch an e-mentoring program that enables nearly real-time mentoring.

We are the first DAX-listed company to introduce a program that gets women ready for a position on the supervisory board. The program was launched in November 2014. The goal of the three-tier training program, which was developed in cooperation with the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), is to bring together a pool of women who could potentially assume a position on the supervisory board at a Deutsche Telekom company in Germany and abroad. The two-day training sessions were launched in December with 29 women from different countries and business segments. The program will run through July 1st. In addition to traditional content, the training also gives insight into practical experiences presented by supervisory board members, case studies from the Group and simulated supervisory board meetings.

Currently, the share of women on the supervisory boards of our Group companies in Germany and abroad comes to over 25 percent. Overall, there is a total of almost 260 seats on supervisory boards throughout the Group.

We expanded our multi-faceted mentoring programs for different target groups to include an additional special offer in 2013. In October 2014, we launched the second round of our mentoring program, which was initiated in 2012, 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 have the chance to get advice from a senior manager mentor. In 2014, 31 tandem teams, i.e., a total of 61 employees, took part in the program (36 tandem teams participated in the last round). The program lasts approx. 18 months.

The poll conducted upon completion of the first round found that participants were very happy with the new model; almost 20 percent were even able to advance their careers during parental leave.

In order to further introduce flexible working models at the company, Deutsche Telekom called upon all of its top-level managers in Germany to participate in a pilot project dealing with flexible working models. 82 managers agreed to take advantage of one of the numerous flexible working models offered, including part-time, home office and parental leave.

Most participants were able to improve their own work-life balance during the pilot project by significantly reducing conflicts between their professional and private lives. On the basis of the managers' experience, participants were able to improve current measures and come up with recommendations. The University of Cologne provided the academic support for this project. As messengers for flexible working models, managers take on a key role in establishing a culture that is less characterized by the physical presence of employees and more focused on goal achievement.

Within the scope of a communication campaign, we are trying to raise awareness and acceptance of measures to improve work-life balance and to initiate an open discussion about current challenges in this area. Dr. Thomas Kremer, interim Chief Human Resources Officer, got the ball rolling in September 2014 on Deutsche Telekom's internal social network (TSN). The initiative met with great response. In February 2015, a new intranet portal was launched featuring target group-specific information about various offers. We also created an information leaflet for employees and applicants and a movie on work-life balance. The campaign will be expanded in 2015 with the goal of raising even more awareness of our work-life balance offers.