Hüni started to lay the foundations for this at ZF three years ago and can recommend that all companies follow suit. She suggests defining a vision and a mission, grappling with individual aspects of diversity, and informing and educating yourself. Katrin Heigl added that, if you want to promote diversity in the workplace, a particularly useful and helpful first step is to look for allies, both within your organization and beyond. Just like at Allianz, there are now employee networks at ZF for every dimension of diversity, and various KPIs have been established – such as the number of women in management positions. Verena Hüni is particularly proud that employees come to her and express their desire to play an active role, which allows networks to grow of their own accord rather than simply being set up by management.
The topic of diversity is also growing in importance at MBS. As a result, Christoph Schlottmann was able to use the podium discussion to present some of the most recent and upcoming diversity initiatives at MBS, which go beyond dimensions of diversity examined to date. These include introducing a language guide on gender-neutral and gender-inclusive language and implementing it in all internal and external communication channels, signing the German Diversity Charter, and MBS apprentices’ participation in the Diversity Challenge.
So, where exactly will this journey lead? Will we find that the diversity debate soon runs its course? Verena Hüni does not think so. “I am pleased to see that discussions surrounding diversity are increasing and have taken center stage in society,” she says. “We are on the right path, but there is still a great deal more to do.”
Katrin Heigl is of a similar opinion and rounded off the evening with a touching anecdote. “When you’re at the Christopher Street Day (Pride) celebrations and a stranger comes up to you and tells you that he needs to hug you because he is so happy that his trans child is in good hands with Allianz as their employer, that’s a big indication that our commitment to diversity is hitting home – and, for me, it’s motivation enough to keep going!”