Gütersloh, 07/22/2019

Bertelsmann Presses Ahead With Diversity Targets

Subject: Employees
Country: International
Category: Project

Bertelsmann is pressing ahead with its diversity goals: By 2021, at least 33 percent of top and senior management positions in all divisions are to be filled by women. That is the target adopted by the Bertelsmann Executive Board.

Besides the digitalization and internationalization of its businesses, the diversity of its employees is also an important factor for Bertelsmann’s continued business success. Bertelsmann’s Executive Board has adopted a Diversity Statement to take this into account and promote diversity in companies worldwide. One facet of diversity is the proportion of women in senior management positions. At its latest meeting, the Bertelsmann Executive Board therefore decided to initially increase the proportion of women in top and senior management in all divisions to at least 33 percent by 2021. These targets were already announced at the Annual Press Conference in late March.

In his speech at the 2019 Management Meeting, Thomas Rabe described the promotion of diversity within the Group as an important aspect in living the new Essentials. Bertelsmann Chief Human Resources Officer Immanuel Hermreck also emphasized that teams with a mix of genders, ages and backgrounds produce the best results and are a prerequisite for a variety of perspectives, creativity, and innovation. While the proportion of women and men in Bertelsmann’s overall workforce is already balanced, Rabe said a further increase in the proportion of women in top and senior management is needed. The management and HR organizations of all divisions and companies are responsible for achieving this goal, he said.

Faster Progress On the Subject Of Diversity

The Group Management Committee (GMC), which advises and supports the Executive Board on key matters relating to Group strategy and development and other Group-wide topics, consists of 18 members from seven countries. The age span is three decades, and six members are top female executives. “However, Bertelsmann is still too homogeneous in other areas,” says Hermreck. “Here, we all need to do even more so that we can make faster progress on diversity as well.”

The new target is already being taken into account in the Group’s talent management. Among the current participants in the Talent Pools, the target of one third women was reached some time ago, and has even been exceeded in the Top Management Pool and Career Development Pool. “This is why we have now set ourselves the goal of filling 50 percent of the Career Development Pool with female talent,” explains Hermreck. Diversity is an important criterion when filling vacancies, he says, adding that Bertelsmann will continue to work on offering attractive development opportunities for all employees. According to experts, factors that help increase the proportion of women in top and senior management include flexible working models, support programs such as sponsoring, and access to relevant networks – framework conditions that Bertelsmann companies already offer in various forms and which are to be further expanded.