Gütersloh, 09/30/2019

Bertelsmann Publishes ‘Action Plan Inclusion’

Subject: Employees
Country: Germany
Category: Project

Bertelsmann is publishing its “Action Plan Inclusion.” Based on it, all employees with disabilities at Bertelsmann’s German companies are to work in as barrier-free an environment as possible by 2024, and contribute their full potential to the company’s success.

For Bertelsmann, the diversity of its employees is a prerequisite for creativity, innovation, and sustained bsiness success. For this reason, the Group has set itself the goal of further increasing diversity at all levels and in every respect. One measure to serve this purpose is “Action Plan Inclusion,” published today after being developed as a joint project between all Group Representatives for Employees with Disabilitiesand the Corporate Responsibility & Diversity Management department. On this common basis, processes and structures are to be designed within the next five years in such a way that employees with disabilities can work as barrier-free as possible and be able to contribute their full potential. By promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities, Bertelsmann is acting in the spirit of the new Bertelsmann Essentials, which codify the topic of “diversity” as a new priority.

“We want to support and promote our employees with disabilities,” explains Immanuel Hermreck, Bertelsmann’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “To create an inclusive working environment we must dismantle not only physical barriers, but also the barriers in our minds.” With “Action Plan Inclusion” Bertelsmann is saying “Yes” to diversity and difference as success factors for creativity and innovation, Hermreck continued, calling on everyone in the company to support it. The action plan comprises five fields of action and is initially aimed at all German Bertelsmann companies, which will be responsible for implementation on site and for designing the plan on a case-by-case basis.


Bertelsmann’s commitment to inclusion

“We are delighted about Bertelsmann’s commitment to inclusion,” says Bertelsmann Group Representative for Employees with Disabilities, Gabriele McNab. “The Action Plan supports all Representatives for Employees with Disabilities in their commitment to people with disabilities at Bertelsmann. We jointly developed the action plan and we will implement it together over the next five years.”

Over recent months, more than 50 employees with and without disabilities, as well as executives, inclusion officers, employee representatives, HR managers, and representatives of numerous departments at Bertelsmann and in the divisions were involved in developing the action plan. They all contributed their expertise with a view to implementing the respective measures. Even while the action plan was still being drawn up, new measures were initiated, such as the new read-aloud function on the BENET Clips app for blind and visually impaired employees. 

The action plan’s measures are based on the five fields of action: “workplace design and working conditions,” “structural framework conditions,” “awareness raising and communication,” “health management,” and “recruitment, qualification, and development.” In order to achieve the objectives in the various fields of action, the measures decided upon are to be implemented and further developed. Their degree of implementation will be reviewed annually. Project manager Nora Müller emphasizes that “Action Plan: Inclusion” was created as a real joint effort. “Many thanks to everyone who has walked this path with us over the past months. Now, its implementation over the next five years will likewise require many committed supporters.”


“Action Plan Inclusion” is available for download  .