Diversity management: Realizing employee potential

Diversity management is important because teams that contain different perspectives are better equipped to deliver innovative solutions. Our clients as well as our employees all over the world can benefit from this approach.


Diversity management and diversity councils

To be successful in the long term, we must have the right mix of skills and talents. Diversity is therefore anchored in our Values and Beliefs. By diversity we mean an open, prejudice-free culture in which employees can develop their potential and contribute their individual talents.

We believe that everyone should work in an open environment where differences are valued. Deutsche Bank is a founding member and signatory of the Charta der Vielfalt in Germany, Charter de la Diversidad in Spain, and the Charte de la Diversité in Luxembourg, which illustrates our commitment to a corporate culture based on mutual respect. Guelabatin Sun, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, emphasizes the significance of diversity for global companies: "When diverse ideas are combined, they multiply to create even better ideas - this is what makes a diverse workforce so valuable to our business. And this is what makes it critical that diversity is embedded in every aspect of the employee lifecycle."

Communication is particularly important. In 2011, for the first time, we ran a week-long diversity campaign to raise awareness among employees of our approach to diversity and our initiatives worldwide. In 2013, 18,000 employees from 46 different DB locations spread across 35 countries took part in our third global diversity week.

Driving diversity

In 2013, we launched Diversity Strategy 2.0 to encourage and develop a more inclusive and diverse culture and organization through concentrating on five key elements.

Taking on responsibility for diversity through diversity councils

Cultural and social diversity are the norm at Deutsche Bank because of our global presence. Our corporate culture is built on diversity principles that allow our staff to deploy their talents in an optimal way and to fully exploit their potential – irrespective of age, gender, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or physical capabilities. Our hiring policies require that all job applications must be considered regardless of those aspects.

We have introduced global diversity guidelines to guarantee that this culture is put into practice. We have set up Diversity Councils in many regions, through which senior managers ensure adherence to the guidelines and achieve a diverse and balanced workforce. They pay special attention to opportunities for employees and tackling barriers to change. In collaboration with employee networks – such as the dbPride Network – the Councils seek to guarantee that all employees are able to develop their individual talents.

Creating and securing equal opportunities for women

About 42 percent of our employees are female. Currently, this is not reflected at senior levels of the bank, an issue that we are working to improve. Increasing the proportion of women in senior management is a strategic necessity for business success. Along with other companies, Deutsche Bank has signed the DAX 30 declaration committing to increase the proportion of women executives at director and managing director level to 25 percent by the end of 2018. In 2013, we reached nearly 19 percent and are steadily approaching our target. Similarly, our goal is to increase the proportion of women at all levels, from managing director to assistant vice president, to 35 percent by the end of 2018. Furthermore, the percentage of all women in non-tariff positions should rise from 31 percent in 2012 to 35 percent in 2018.

To help prepare women for top executive positions, we launched our Accomplished Top Leaders Advancement Strategy (ATLAS) program in 2009. The program provides tailored training and sponsorship for a selected group of female executive managers. Following their participation in ATLAS, half of the participants have taken on new or more challenging functions.

Senior management at Deutsche Bank are aware of the need to improve opportunities for women. During one of our Women in Business conferences, Anshu Jain, Co-Chairman of the Management Board, made clear that “the need is vital: the industry needs to do a better job when it comes to gender diversity.”

The five core elements of the declaration of the DAX 30 companies

  • Requirement for differentiated, company-specific targets; regular reporting on goals, measures, and results
  • Ensuring equality of opportunity in hiring and career development in order to promote women’s careers
  • Measures to heighten awareness and improve qualifications of senior managers; targeted career planning for women
  • Organisation of flexible working hours and further improvement of the compatibility of family life and work for parents
  • Advancing professional interests of women and men in MINT subjects (mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, technology)

Current developments

Diversity at Deutsche Bank

Questions & Answers


Enhancing training

In 2013, we rolled out a new e-learning module, “Great minds don’t think alike – The power of different perspectives,” to all employees globally. This module presents employees with the opportunity to challenge their own assumptions and outlines ways to make fact-based decisions.

“Diversity is crucial: we need the right mix of skills and talents to build a dynamic, adaptable, meritocratic platform.”

Jürgen Fitschen Co-Chairman of the Management Board


53 languages

are spoken at our risk center in Berlin

Women in european business

Highlights from the 15th Women in European Business Conference 2014 in Frankfurt.

Our top three activities for developing a diverse workforce:

- Taking responsibility for diversity through our diversity councils

- Creating and securing equal opportunities for women

- Promoting generational diversity and maintaining competence

DAX 30 self-commitment: status and goal

Female employees, in %

1 Goal
2 Managing Director and Director
3 Managing Director, Director, Vice President, Assistant Vice President and Associate

Promoting generational diversity and sharing knowledge

In order to benefit from the wide range of employees’ ages, we are creating a work environment in which different generations can identify development opportunities for themselves and make use of their strengths. The NextGen Network in the USA and SeniorExperts@DB in Germany are examples of groups that promote the age mix of our staff and cross-generational exchange contributing to the transfer of knowledge.

Pascal Botteron, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank’s Private Wealth Management, emphasizes the importance of generational diversity for his team: “My employees are between 26 and 62 years of age. Thanks to that age range, we can learn from the experience of older colleagues and at the same time benefit from the fresh ideas and up-to-date know-how of younger employees.”

This combination allows Pascal Botteron’s team to respond more easily to the varied client inquiries from all over the world and to implement solutions that are devised creatively and flexibly. “Diverse teams provide important added value for Deutsche Bank,” Botteron says. “They constitute a major competitive advantage for us, and above all they give our clients access to global expertise.”


The Importance of Diverse Teams

Age of employees

in %, headcount


Current Questions & Answers (May 2014)

Diversity – Female Quota

1. What is the proportion of female employees in the different corporate levels at Deutsche Bank?

  • Total: 42.0%*
  • Tariff percentage: 55.8%*
  • Management percentage: 31.1%*
  • Senior Management percentage: 18.7%*
  • Women on the Executive Board: none
  • Women on the Supervisory Board: 7 (out of a total of 20 Supervisory Board members) = 35% of which 3 shareholder representatives and 4 employee representatives

* Definition based on DAX-30 voluntary commitment: figures on full-time equivalent basis, excl. Postbank, the last 3 figures (tariff, management1 and senior management2) do not include the acquisition of Sal Oppenheim and BHF BANK as no corporate titles have been introduced; as of 31.12.2013

2. What is Deutsche Bank’s position in terms of “Female Pipeline”?

Building the female pipeline across all levels is an integral part of our management agenda. Deutsche Bank and the other 29 DAX companies, made a voluntary commitment to the German Federal Government to increase the proportion of females (subject to applicable laws worldwide) in:

  • senior management positions (Managing Director and Director) to 25% by the end of 2018;
  • bis Ende 2018 den Anteil an Mitarbeiterinnen im Management (Managing Director, Director,
  • all officer positions (Managing Director, Director, Vice President, Assistant Vice President and Associate) to 35% by the end of 2018.

Each year we identify annual goals based on promotion, hiring and attrition and we report internally on progress.

In the past years, we have consistently progressed toward our aspirational goals for the advancement of women in all levels of management as well as senior management.

With a view to a sustainable progress, the focus is on establishing, maintaining and advancing a pipeline of female talents on all levels. Since 2010, we have increased the percentage of women in all management levels from 29.3% to 31.1% and in senior management positions from 16.2% to 18.7% in 2013.

Our aspirational goals for 2018 are ambitious but achievable.

We believe that the voluntary commitment to the German Federal Government is a sound basis.

Within the context of the various draft legislative initiatives regarding gender balance inmanagement positions currently in the pipeline (e.g. in Germany), we are pleased that we have been voluntarily committed to increasing gender balance in management positions and believe our goals are in line with legislative initiatives. We continue to monitor the status of the various legislative proposals and once final laws are legislated we will continue and expand our activities as appropriate.

3. What are Deutsche Bank’s key initiatives to promote advancement of female employees?


  • Our Award winning ATLAS (Accomplished Top Leaders Advancement Strategy) initiative was launched in 2009 by the Chairman of the Management Board and Group Executive Committee, with the goal of increasing the number of women in senior management positions. Participants are provided with direct sponsorship from Senior Management. Since inception, 59% of ATLAS participants have moved into larger roles (4 women have moved into larger roles twice, one woman is now in her third bigger role).
  • Deutsche Bank Women Global Leaders (DB WGL) at INSEAD launched in 2010. It is a one week program designed to accelerate the progress of high performing female Directors into Managing Director positions.
  • Since 1995, Deutsche Bank has hosted annual Women in Business Conferences in Frankfurt, London, New York, Singapore, Milan and Sydney attracting more than 5,000 clients, industry leaders and employees globally. This year the 20th Women on Wall Street conference will be held in New York.
  • Twelve established Women’s Network Groups across all 5 regions with senior business women chairing.


  • The Women on Boards initiative aims to increase the proportion of females in the supervisory boards of our operational subsidiaries in Germany and in the regional advisory boards.
  • Diversity Leadership Training on unconscious bias covering various diversity topics including gender.
  • Work life balance initiatives e.g. through flexible work arrangements, childcare facilities (300 kindergarten places at 6 different locations) cooperation with pme Familienservice, Leistungskontensystem “db Zeitinvest” etc.
  • Deutsche Bank has established policies around work and life (e.g. flexible working, return to work and part time arrangements etc).

4. What are Deutsche Bank’s main achievements with regard to female advancement?

  • ATLAS selected as one of Catalyst’s 2013 Recognized Practices. Through this award, Catalyst recognizes organizational programs that help make real change for women and other diverse groups (February 2013).
  • United Kingdom: “Global Award” for the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Award 2012 for ATLAS (April 2012).
  • United Kingdom: Deutsche Bank included in the Times Top 50 Employers for Women list (April 2014).
  • USA: “One of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers, 2013” by Working Mother Magazine. This year marks the 14th time that Deutsche Bank (or Bankers Trust) has appeared on the list since 1996.
  • USA: Traders Magazine selected Deutsche Bank to receive “Diversity Achievement Award”. Award cited quantitative and qualitative achievements in improving gender diversity in the executive ranks (October 2011).
  • United Kingdom: “Best for Mothers Award” at the Top Employers for Working Families Benchmark and Awards (June 2011).
  • Germany: Recertification of our family-aware HR policies under Hertie Foundation’s job and family audit (August 2013).
  • Germany: One of the first companies to sign the Diversity Charta for Companies in Germany (December 2006), since 2010 a member of the association, since December 2012 board member of the association.

You might be interested in