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  • 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report
2016 Corporate Responsibility Report

Diversity and equal opportunities

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 remain a key player in global competition with the best team, good ideas and the best products.

Supporting diversity

Our aim is to promote and benefit from the diversity of our employees as a source of creativity and innovation. That is why we offer our employees numerous opportunities to grow personally and professionally, regardless of their gender, age, sexual preference, health situation, ethnic background or culture.

We are particulalry concerned with increasing the number of women in expert and management careers at our company. We want to be the first DAX-30 company to have 30 percent women in middle and senior management positions. To this end, we launched the Fair Share initiative.

We have been encouraging our employees to value diversity at the Group since 2015 with our unconscious bias campaign. We used explanatory videos and practice-oriented workshops to show to our employees how an unconscious bias influences thoughts, feelings and actions and how such behavioral patterns can be overcome. We held more than 90 workshops (face-to-face or online) in Germany in 2016 alone.  We offer multiplier and mentor programs to establish managers as role models and ambassadors who encourage diversity. Many of our employees have become actively involved in addressing various aspects of diversity, for example as members of internal initiatives 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. These measures are heavily based on our Diversity Policy, Guiding Principles and our Employee Relations Policy  as well as the Deutsche Telekom Social Charter. We are also a founding member of the Diversity Charter association. Click here for more information for investors and rating agencies.


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 training scheme 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 legal requirements. Examples include different options for reducing working hours and the guaranteed return to full-time work. 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 regularly assess the effectiveness of our measures for encouraging diversity and publish the findings on platforms such as Fair Share and the Deutsche Telekom work-life report. The share of women on our Group's Supervisory Board has meanwhile risen to more than 40 percent. And the proportion of part-time employees at our company continues to increase as well. 13.4  percent of employees covered by collective agreements and 20.7 percent of Deutsche Telekom civil servants throughout Germany are currently working part-time. The number of disabled employees working for us in Germany puts us well over the statutory quota of 5 percent. 

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Fourth German Diversity Day

As in previous years, we participated in the fourth German Diversity Day held by the Diversity Charter association in 2016. This year we hosted a Rhine-Ruhr Diversity Network event under the motto "Diversity makes the difference – cultural skills for business success." Around 100 managers met at the event to discuss the role diversity plays in success in the business world.

German Diversity Conference 2016

The Diversity Conference is an independent platform for dialog, strategy and innovative projects focusing on diversity. We have been organizing it in collaboration with the German newspaper Tagesspiegel and the Diversity Charter association since 2012. Deutsche Telekom is a founding member of the initiative. Key players from the worlds of business, politics, society and science once again met at the conference in Berlin in 2016. Focal topics included real life experience of organizations and companies and questions like: Which trends are going to define the workplace in the future? What has changed in the last ten years since the Diversity Charter was founded? What areas require the most attention? Participants tweeted about the topics and presentations during the event. The tweets were posted on a Twitter img wall. Deutsche Telekom made the software available at no charge.

Inclusion action plan completed

We are committed to enabling people with and without disabilities to work together. For years now, we have made sure that more than 7 percent of employees at the Group are people with disabilities, considerably more than at many other companies. With our "Experience diversity – Inclusion@DT" action plan we added another tool promoting inclusion in 2016. The action plan helps us comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The convention specifies targets and gives advice on how to encourage inclusion. It also requires companies to create universal access at the workplace so that it is accessible to both people with and without disabilities. Our commitment to employees with disabilities received the 2016 Rhineland Palatinate award for exemplary employment of people with disabilities.

Child and Career mentoring program: second round completed

We completed the second round of our Child and Career mentoring program in September 2016 after a run of 22 months. In the program, we provide support to young experts and managers during the time before, during and after parental leave. They are mentored by an experienced manager during this transitional period, learn new skills during tandem activities and benefit from dialog in new networks. 31 tandem teams took part in the second round of the program. More than 90 percent of participants were female and half of the mentors were women. 58 percent of participants landed a new position at the company with the help of the program, 32 percent of which transferred to a more challenging area.

Training program prepares employees for supervisory board positions

In 2014 we became the first DAX company to develop a training program to prepare employees for supervisory board positions. The program was developed in collaboration with the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) . 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. We are particularly interested in encouraging women to take on supervisory board positions. In addition to information on the traditional activities of supervisory board members, the training also gave insight into practical experiences presented by supervisory board members, case studies from the Group and a simulated supervisory board meeting.

The second round of the program with 33 participants ended in summer 2016. This time seven of the participants were men. So far we have trained a total of 64 potential supervisory board members, around half of which work at national companies outside of Germany. Eight people who have completed the program were appointed to a Deutsche Telekom supervisory board.

Family Manager pilot project completed

In July 2015 Deutsche Telekom set up the Family Manager pilot project as a point of contact offering employees personal advice on all kinds of topics relating to the reconciliation of work and family. This offer also included a family hotline. This pilot project was scheduled to run for one year and was available in Bavaria only.

The results following completion of the pilot project were good. 200 employees and managers contacted a family manager for advice within that year. 500 employees at our Munich and Nuremberg offices also signed up for monthly seminars on the topic of caregiving. We were able to use what we learned from the project to further improve the work-life balance of our employees.

Commitment to increasing the number of women in managerial positions

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.

We initiated a number of measures to help us achieve our goal: work-life balance offers such as parental leave models, flexible work hours and childcare offers, a mentoring program for supervisory board candidates and targeted communication with talented women via our Talents@Telekom platform.

As a result, we have been able to continually increase the share of women in management positions since 2010. With 40 percent on the Group's Supervisory Board, we have already surpassed our own goal in Germany as well as the legal quota introduced on January 1, 2016. Since announcement of the women's quota of 30 percent in early 2010, we have been able to increase the percentage of women throughout the Group from 19 percent to a current 25,4 percent . We extended the deadline to 2020 and expanded the area of application to the two levels below the Board of Management and managing boards as well as to our internal supervisory boards in Germany. With these efforts, we are significantly surpassing the statutory regulations in effect in Germany since 2015. We are planning to further pursue the measures we have already taken in order to reach our goals.

Sponsorship of “Every woman in technology” awards

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 want to advance themselves and others.

We have our 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 from leading women in the technology industry. As part of our commitment to the Everywoman program, we attended the “Everywoman in technology” awards in 2016 taking some of our customers with us to help build our brand and maintain a broad client relationship. The awards play a vital part in highlighting role models whose stories and achievements demonstrate to those young women and girls that they too 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 will continue to support it in 2017.