Our Diversity Strategy

"We want diversity on all levels and in every aspect, and it is my hope that the diversity of our businesses will be reflected in the diversity of people working for us."

Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann

Diversity is part of the 10 Point Program for the Future of Bertelsmann,  presented by Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe at the 2016 Bertelsmann Management Meeting.

Diversity is therefore also on the Group-wide HR agenda of Immanuel Hermreck, Chief Human Resources Officer of Bertelsmann and member of the Executive Board. The department of Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management (CR&DM) reports directly to him, provides in-house consulting and is a strategic partner for Bertelsmann’s divisions and companies. CR&DM is supported by an international Diversity Working Group, with representatives from the divisions and Corporate Talent Management. The Executive Board and the Group Management Committee (GMC) regularly address matters of diversity – as do the Bertelsmann Management Representative Committee (BMRC), employee representatives, and other actors and committees at various levels of the Group.

Diversity Strategy

As a decentralized company with a variety of business models, Bertelsmann's diversity strategy does not follow a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Each division targets its efforts based on the individual business case with the objective of further promoting Bertelsmann’s transformation process. Since individualized approaches offer the most added value, the implementation of concrete diversity objectives and measures is the responsibility of each of the divisions and their companies. The Group-wide Diversity Working Group provides support through its activities and impulses. Here  you can find a divisional example for a diversity business case.


For Bertelsmann, diversity is among the keys to its economic success. A varied and diverse workforce has a positive impact on creativity and performance, as well as employee motivation. It enhances flexibility and success in the different markets. With their individual skills, experience and viewpoints, heterogeneous teams contribute to a diversity of perspectives in their company – with positive implications for business processes, decisions and innovation. Diversity also strengthens employer attractiveness. Diversity management helps to counter the risks resulting from demographic change. Additionally, it addresses the economic risks that arise where contracting governmental authorities require statutory quota compliance in public procurement processes, or with business partners having specific contractual requirements.



Diversity Q&A

For Bertelsmann, the diversity of its workforce is an basis for innovation and sustainable economic success in its various markets. But what exactly does diversity management mean? This section contains the most important questions and answers.

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What does Diversity mean?

Diversity means having, or being composed of different elements. In an organizational context, it refers to all characteristics and attributes that define the identity of an individual, with an emphasis on the inclusion of those different types of people.
Socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity / nationality and physical ability are just some aspects of diversity to be considered. Diversity also includes less visible characteristics such as a person’s sexual orientation and identity, skill set, mind-set, social origin, religious affiliation, or communication style. Again, in the organizational context, diversity can even refer to ‘organizational dimensions,’ such as a person’s professional background, her/his function, or duration of company affiliation.

What is diversity management?

What are the overall objectives of diversity management?

How can successful diversity management be quantified?