Diversity pays off

GIZ wants to embed diversity more systematically in its corporate culture. By signing the German Diversity Charter, the company aims to ensure it reflects all dimensions of diversity.

Cooperation between individuals with different talents, skills and personal experience generates more new ideas than bringing together those with similar backgrounds. Acknowledgement and promotion of diverse potential overcomes prejudice and creates a climate of acceptance. International cooperation in particular relies on heterogeneous teams and multicultural settings, as they foster more creativity, greater innovation and a better working atmosphere. The principles of diversity are already embedded in a number of areas at GIZ, including the company’s Corporate Principles and its Gender Strategy.

However, diversity management means going further still – and this is where the German Diversity Charter comes in. The Charter is a corporate initiative to promote diversity in companies and institutions and it brings together and systematises initiatives and activities that GIZ is already implementing. It encompasses six dimensions of diversity: age, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion and worldview, physical and mental ability, and ethnic origin and nationality. GIZ has successfully been implementing guidelines in some of these dimensions for many years. Gender equality is one example: women already occupy 42 per cent of management roles. However, more needs to be done in other dimensions and particularly in the systematic promotion of diversity.

The Charter does not stipulate targets: each signatory company does that for itself. As Renate Scheib from the Human Resources Department explains, ‘The Charter provides an incentive to take a closer look at our recruitment process and to consider whether we are asking the right questions, for example, or to explore what diversity means in terms of project design.’ Over the next few months, the focus will be on how diversity can be managed within GIZ to recognise and empower all employees appropriately.

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