Realising greater gender, age, cultural identity, personality and skills diversity


I&D are key contributors to our corporate success. In 2005, Deutsche Telekom was the first international company based in Germany to have a group-wide diversity policy covering all six core dimensions: gender, age, origin/culture, religion, sexual orientation and disability). And in 2010 we became the first DAX 30 company to voluntarily undertake a 30% female quota for leadership positions.

What did you want to achieve?

We want to go further in 2020 with a renewed strategy and management commitment for bringing more gender, age, cultural identity, personality and skills diversity into our leadership teams

What did you do?

We implemented various formats to fight Unconscious Bias (including online workshops and e-learning) and hosted the 10th German Diverse City conference in our Bonn Headquarters. We also created opportunities for increasing women in our leadership (a 30% commitment) and in general (30% in our talent programme, 40% in our trainee programme).

Developing guidelines on making presentations inclusive for employees with special needs, increasing the number of video transmissions with sign language and providing barrier-free workplaces are a few examples of how we support our colleagues with disabilities.

Our newly revised offers cover all professional and personal aspects to drive cross-border mobility. And we have designed our onboarding offers to better integrate international executives relocating to Germany.Our ‘Reverse Mentoring’ programme connects members of our top Business Leadership Team with young trainees to share new ways of digital collaboration. We are also supporting and leveraging self-organised diversity communities in and beyond Germany. Around 250 employees participated in the Christopher Street Day 2019 in Cologne to represent and support LGBTQ+ rights and topics in our company.

What are the results so far?

Around 1,000 employees have taken part in our Unconscious Bias webinars since 2019, and we have held more than 20 workshops with Board members and N-1 and N-2 leaders. Demand is growing for the topic to be included in teambuilding events for mixed nationality management teams.

Deutsche Telekom has exceeded the prescribed minimum rate of 5% disabled employees for many years, reaching 7.6% in 2019. In Germany, more than 60 volunteers run social networks to connect underrepresented groups in Deutsche Telekom. These networks, which have more than 2,000 members and many times more followers, organised 50 events in 2019.Overall, Deutsche Telekom is proud to have won a variety of HR and Employer of Choice awards globally in the past years in recognition of our efforts on I&D.

What have you learned?

We have learned that key factors for success include strong top leadership commitment, legal and structural changes and a holistic approach that encompasses the whole employee lifecycle.Widespread communication and marketing campaigning, strategic industry partnerships and membership of relevant advocacy groups have all proved essential for increasing I&D. Last but not least, the growing interest and investment of our employees to drive diversity further via networks and communities have been critical to our success.