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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Diversity and equal opportunity

Social trends such as globalization, demographic developments or different understandings of roles cannot be allowed to lead to the exclusion of individual groups from the labor market. Equal opportunity is not only essential to a stable society, but to our company as well. Respecting human individuality and harnessing individuals’ distinctive traits for joint success is just as important for our Group as developing a shared identity.

Supporting diversity

At our company, women and men, young and old as well as people with different abilities and cultural backgrounds from some 150 countries work together very successfully. This diversity helps us remain competitive around the world with good ideas and outstanding products and consolidate our position as an attractive employer.

For us, diversity means that we offer our employees numerous opportunities to develop professionally and grow personally, regardless of their gender, age, sexual preference, health situation, ethnic background, religion, or culture. Our Group-wide Diversity Policy, the five Guiding Principles, the Group’s Employee Relations Policy as well as our “Code of Human Rights & Social Principles” form the foundation of our commitment to diversity. We are also a founding member of the corporate initiative “Diversity Charter” and aim to promote and use diversity both within and outside of the company.

In 2018, we also signed the “European Diversity Pledge”. The pledge is part of the “Embrace Difference” initiative set up by the European Roundtable of Industrialists. More than 50 companies are among the signatories. They pledge to create an environment in which all employees can achieve their full potential.

As early as during the hiring process we emphasize diversity and consider options other than just traditional educational and life paths. 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.

To enable all employees to get the most out of their skills, we support a work-life balance with an extensive work-life portfolio. 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 a guaranteed return to full-time work that exceeds legal requirements. At the end of 2018, 12.9 percent of employees covered by collective agreements and 15.2 percent of Deutsche Telekom civil servants throughout Germany were working part-time. The number of disabled employees working for us in Germany puts us well over the statutory quota of 5 percent.

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 that end, we have initiated several measures. In December 2018, the percentage of women in middle and upper management was 25.4 percent (previous year: 25.4 percent); the share of women in our Group’s Supervisory Board was 40 percent (previous year: 45 percent).

Our commitment to the integration of refugees into the labor market also promotes diversity within our company. We offer entry opportunities for refugees through an internship or apprenticeship and the “Internship PLUS direct entry” program.

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 MagentaPride, a network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual employees, or of the numerous women's networks that have been established within the Group thanks to their commitment. Since 2015, we have also used videos and digital workshops to raise awareness among our employees about how unconscious bias can influence their thoughts and actions.

We regularly assess the effectiveness of our measures for encouraging diversity and report the findings to the Group Board of Management.


Do you have questions on this topic? Ask our expert:

Anke Reger
Anke Reger
Yvonne von de Finn
Yvonne von de Finn

Sixth German Diversity Day: managers discuss diversity at work

The Diversity Charter is an independent economic initiative that is supported by around 3,000 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 sixth nationwide German Diversity Day in 2018. In addition to a conference in which some 100 managers from partner companies in the Rhine-Ruhr network participated, the Deutsche Telekom headquarters in Bonn hosted an action week on the topic of diversity. Among other activities, the event included a “Diversity parkour” that gave employees the opportunity to experience the wide-ranging dimensions of diversity. It was carried out by the German institute for diversity management, Institut für Diversity Management.  The event also featured brief, informative talks in our common kitchen areas on subjects such as (anti-) discrimination and diversity in the workplace, gender and artificial intelligence.

Action plan for inclusion yields initial success

In 2018, Deutsche Telekom once again employed more than seven percent persons with disabilities or persons of equivalent status – a higher than average share compared to other private or public employers. We have been working on our action plan “Experience diversity – Inclusion@DT” since 2016. It helps us comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In this connection, we implemented additional measures in 2018: For example, the Group’s representative body for disabled persons created the image film “Sharing perspectives”. We also modified the workstations of our blind employees to fit their needs and to ensure their ability to work in the event of IT changes.

“Career and children” launched for the third time

After two very successful runs, our “Career and children” mentoring program began a new session in April 2017. For a period of 22 months, this program provides for potential junior staff in expert and managerial functions from various business units of the Group in Germany to be mentored by an experienced manager before, during and after their parental leave. Working in tandem, they gain new technical and methodical skills and benefit from shared experiences with others in the program network. In the third session of “Career and children”, 31 tandem teams were formed. The program was supplemented by web-based tutorials on focus topics. In addition, supplementary coaching services such as parental coaching and professional support coaching are now being provided for the first time, as required. More than 90 percent of participating junior employees and two-thirds of the managers are female.

Training program prepares 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). We are particularly interested in encouraging women to take a seat on the supervisory board. 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. In total, we have so far trained 64 potential supervisory board members, almost half of whom come from national companies outside of Germany. More than 22 graduates of the program have now been appointed to a Deutsche Telekom supervisory board.

An additional workshop for former program participants took place in Berlin in November 2018. The workshop offered training on topics such as “What’s new in corporate governance” and leadership networks.

Commitment to increasing the number of women in managerial positions

Our contribution to the SDGs

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 many other support and networking options. For instance, the first Telekom hackathon for women in the field of artificial intelligence was held in November. Around 50 programmers, data scientists and graphic designers from throughout Europe came to Berlin for two days to refine their prototypes. The event was initiated by a group of women from the Women@Telekom network.

Our diverse range of measures has allowed us to continuously increase the share of women in management positions – from 19 percent in 2010 to 40 percent on December 31, 2018. With 25.4 percent on the Group’s Supervisory Board, we have surpassed both 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, T-Systems rebranded its own Everywoman community – which is now known as Diversi-T. It has a broader focus on ensuring that the company 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 the Everywoman Program has evolved into Diversi-T, T-Systems Limited is 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. Jake Attfield, HR Director at T-Systems Ltd. is on the judging panel for the awards and Alison Dodd, the new Managing Director will present the “rising star" 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 2019.

Sentient Company Project at Slovak Telekom

A key project in the field of corporate social responsibility and inclusion at Slovak Telekom over the past two years has been the launch of the Sentient Company project. Employees who come into direct contact with disadvantaged customer groups developed hard and soft skills. Training exerted an impact on 700 customer service representatives.

The project focused on 3 areas:

  1. Training for colleagues from customer service leading staff toward perceiving the needs of customers from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, and the barriers they face.
  2. Building an inclusive corporate culture – a campaign for all employees to combat prejudice, stereotypes, leading staff to perceive the needs and barriers faced by colleagues and people from disadvantaged groups.
  3. Partnership with the Eduma non-profit organization – institutional support and collaboration in the context of emotional awareness. The ambition of the project is to move forward with the continuous process of education and to integrate the system into the adaptive process of new employees, as well as in development training for senior staff and all front-line staff.

Diversity & Inclusion at Magyar Telekom

At the beginning of 2018, the Corporate Sustainability efforts of Magyar Telekom have expanded to embrace and reorganize our efforts toward enhancing Diversity Culture and Inclusion within the group of companies. Magyar Telekom took a momentous step in January and launched an anonymous employee survey of perceptions about the state of D&I culture within the company. Nearly 1300 colleagues give their candid opinions on topics ranging from gender equality to perceptions of discrimination for vulnerable social groups (such as Roma, people living with disabilities, members of LGBTQI, single mothers, and 50+ employees a non-management level, etc.). The results of this survey helped us to identify key areas for our Diversity & Inclusion plan with clear and quantifiable objectives up to 2020 ranging from corporate policy to equality-driven revision of specific internal processes along the employee experience cycle, including focus areas like recruitment and talent management.

In November 2017, Magyar Telekom adapted the renewed Code of Human Rights and Social Principles of the Deutsche Telekom Group. On the basis of these reforms, the company was the first within the DT Group to launch e-learning on human rights at an all-employee level informing our employees, close partners, and student workers about our responsibilities in relation to human rights, the responsible ways to take action, and the whistleblower channels available to take a stand against suspected human-rights violations. The obligatory e-learning course was taken by more than 10 000 people and it is now part of the mandatory portfolio of courses at Magyar Telekom.