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, Managing Director, 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. We celebrate a global diversity week week every year – the focus in 2015 was about “Diversity is our strength – Maximising business performance”. Employees in 35 countries from around the world took part in more than 350 events and activities from November 16 to 20.

In a video message to staff in the lead-up to the week’s events, John Cryan, Chief Executive Officer, explained the important role that diversity plays in creating a better Deutsche Bank. “Only by building teams of people with different backgrounds, education, skills and experiences can we create value across the Bank,” emphasised Cryan in the video. “I want us to nurture inclusive environments where we welcome different ways of thinking about our challenges,” he added.

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 2015 we reached more than 20.5 percent and are steadily approaching our target. Furthermore, the percentage of all women in non-tariff positions should rise from nearly 32.5 percent in 2015 to 35 percent in 2018.

On March 6, 2015, the Gender Quota Law (= Law for the equal participation of women and men in management positions) was enacted in Germany. The law seeks to ensure equal participation and gender parity.

First, the law requires all German companies that are fully co-determined and publicly listed on a stock exchange to apply a fixed 30% female gender quota for their supervisory boards. Accordingly, as of January 1, 2016, all new supervisory board mandates have to comply with the fixed gender quota. Deutsche Bank is already well-positioned in this respect: 35% of the supervisory board members, including shareholder representatives and employee representatives, are female: overall, the 20-member supervisory board comprises seven women.

Second, the law also requires companies to define gender quota targets for the management board and the two management levels below by September 30, 2015. Deutsche Bank will set appropriate deadlines and determine gender quota targets that will facilitate and demonstrate a sustainable achievement of these targets and reflect the demand for women in senior positions.

Following the voluntary commitment to the German Federal Government, we will now continue our efforts toward the advancement of women in the workplace under the new law.

The Gender Quota Law in Germany

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.”

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 Deutsche Bank AG


53 languages

are spoken at our risk center in Berlin


The Importance of Diverse Teams

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