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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

Diversity and equal opportunities

Diversity and equal opportunity are essential not only for a stable society but for a company as well. 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 come up with the best ideas and products in global competition.

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, religion, or culture.

Our contribution to the SDGs

Our Group-wide Diversity Policy, Guiding Principles, and Employee Relations Policy as well as our "Code of Human Rights & Social Principles" form the foundation of our commitment. We are also a founding member of the Diversity Charter association.

Equal opportunity is a particularly important issue for us - one for which we have been fighting for more than two decades. Our goal is to increase the number of women in expert and managerial positions: We want to fill 30 percent of leadership positions in middle and upper management worldwide with women. To this end, we launched the Fair Share initiative. On December 31, 2017, the percentage of women in middle and upper management was 25.4 percent similar to the previous year; the share of women in our Group’s Supervisory Board was 45 percent (previous year: 40 percent).

Our commitment to integrating refugees into the labor market also promotes diversity within our company. We offer entry opportunities by means of internship, training, the "Internship PLUS Direct Entry" pilot project, or direct entry into an expert or managerial position.

As early as during the hiring process we emphasize diversity and consider options other than just traditional educational routes. Good examples of this are 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 an extensive work-life portfolio to allow our employees to realize their abilities in the best possible way. This includes daycare offers and assistance with caring for family members; these offers exceed legal requirements. Examples include different options for reducing working hours, the lifetime work account, and guaranteed return to full-time work. As of  December 31, 2017, 13.6 percent of employees covered by collective agreements and 20.4 percent of Deutsche Telekom civil servants throughout Germany were currently working part-time. The number of disabled employees working for us in Germany puts us well over the statutory quota of 5 percent.

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. In 2015 we initiated a Group-wide campaign on unconscious bias, which we continued in 2017. Since then we have been increasing appreciation for diversity within the Group through explanatory videos and digital workshops.

We regularly assess the effectiveness of our measures for encouraging diversity and internally publish the findings on platforms such as Fair Share and the Deutsche Telekom work-life report. We complied with the new legal requirements stipulated by the Act to Promote Transparency of Pay Structures with a separate remuneration report as an annex to the 2017 management report.

At the start of 2018, the T-Share was included in the global and cross-sectoral Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI). Bloomberg is a U.S. information service provider that primarily provides financial data. The Index acknowledges a total of 104 companies that promote gender equality at work. At the same time, the Index provides investors and organizations with aggregated, standardized data about the percentage of women and men employees at companies and about specific offers for employees, social commitment to equal opportunity as well as the product and vendor structure. The analyzed data refer to the 2016 financial year.


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Fifth German Diversity Day: managers discuss diversity at work

The Diversity Charter is an independent economic initiative that boasts the participation of 2,600 companies and institutions in Germany. The Charter's goal is to create a work environment free of prejudice. All employees deserve respect and appreciation – regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity. Deutsche Telekom is a founding member of the initiative. As in past years, we participated in the fifth nationwide German Diversity Day in 2017. Together with 120 managers from partner companies from the Rhine-Ruhr network, we exchanged information during a meeting on topics such as "Working World 2030," "Unconscious Bias," "Cultural Skills," and "Flexible Working Hours" and discussed the interests of the LGBTI (= Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed) community.

Action plan for inclusion yields initial success

In 2017, more than 7 percent of Deutsche Telekom employees Group-wide were either disabled or have equivalent status. This number was higher than average compared to other private and public-sector employers and thus remained at a high level. In 2016 we introduced the "Living Diversity – Inclusion@DT" action plan. This plan helps implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and yielded initial success in 2017. Deutsche Telekom's good examples were honored with the first-time-ever bestowing of the Inclusion Award. As of September 2017, the town hall meetings and the HR Business Talk are being translated by sign language interpreters and transmitted live throughout the company on an additional channel.

Career with Children program started for a third time

Our Career with Children mentoring program started up again in April 2017. Potential junior employees for technical and managerial positions from various Group business units in Germany are coached before, during, and after their parental leave by an experienced manager in their role as mentor. They amass new technical and methodological competencies "in tandem" and benefit from participating in the program's network. The third round of the Career with Children program saw the training of 31 tandems. The program was also supplemented by web-based learning modules on various topics. More than 90 percent of participating junior employees and two-thirds of the managers are female. The program lasts 22 months and ends in January 2019.

Training program prepares employees for the supervisory board

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) . 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 gives insight into practical experiences presented by supervisory board members, case studies from the Group, and a simulated supervisory board meeting. So far we have trained a total of 64 potential supervisory board members, around half of whom work at business units outside of Germany. Ten women who have completed the program were appointed to a Deutsche Telekom supervisory board.

A more extensive workshop for former program participants took place in Berlin in October 2017. They were trained in various subjects such as corporate governance, cyber security, and startup investments as well as ethical matters.

Commitment to increasing the number of women in managerial positions

Our goal is to have women occupy at least 30 percent of positions in middle and upper management. To this end, we have initiated numerous measures: expansion of our work-life balance offer by means of parental leave models, flexible working hours, and childcare programs, a mentoring program for supervisory board candidates, targeted recruiting of female talent, for example through the Talents@Telekom talent platform, and the "Fair Share" initiative started in 2010.

Our contribution to the SDGs

This allowed us to continuously increase the share of women in management positions – from 19 percent in 2010 to 25.4 percent on  December 31, 2017. With 45 percent on the Group's Supervisory Board, we have already surpassed our own goal as well as the statutory gender quota  introduced in Germany on January 1, 2016. Our quota for women, which we want to achieve by the end of 2020, also applies to the two levels beneath Board of Management level, the management of the national companies, and the internal supervisory boards in Germany. With these efforts, we are significantly surpassing the statutory regulations in effect in Germany since 2015.

Sponsorship of “Every woman in technology” awards in Great Britain

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.

In 2017, we rebranded our own Everywoman community – which is now known as Diversi-T. It has a broader focus on ensuring that T-Systems is a truly inclusive environment where all diversity is supported and championed.  The aim of the network is to help staff connect and stay inspired by providing the opportunity to network internally and externally. There are also opportunities to attend in-company webinars, bi-monthly meetings and an annual event to hear and learn from each other and from other tech companies leading in diversity. 

As part of our commitment to Diversi-T, the Board and all people managers received training in unconscious bias and how this can affect recruitment, personal development and other core processes.  The most positive outcome of this training was to allow the conversation on diversity and bias to become more open. 

While our Everywoman Program has evolved into Diversi-T, we are still very committed to helping to close the gender gap in the ICT img industry and attend the “Everywoman in Technology” awards each year 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.  With this in mind, T-Systems sponsors the “rising star” award for women in tech under the age of 26.  Christoph Rode, MD of T-Systems Limited sits on the judging panel and will present the award on the night.

T-Systems views the Diversi-T Program as an important part of its strategy and will continue to support it in 2018.