Deutsche Telekom boosts gender equality

German carrier Deutsche Telekom today said it will introduce a quota to raise the level of female managers to 30% by 2015. The quota will replace mentoring programmes and other measures which were intended to increase equality and the amount of women working in the upper echelons, yet failed miserably because males enjoy sticking together.

As Chief Human Resources Officer Thomas Sattelberger stated, “[…] efforts over the years for the advancement of women were genuine and well-intended, but success remained limited as in all major companies. We are therefore now taking a new and bold tack without abandoning the advancement measures to date.”

He added the quota was “a tangible and sustainable implementation of equal opportunities for top talents regardless of gender” and had nothing to do with lip-service to political correctness.

The step, which received support from Kristina Schröder, Germany’s Federal Minister for Family Affairs, is certainly not benevolent. Sattelberger explained 60% of all business graduates leaving universities in Germany were female.

According to Deutsche Telekom, existing studies have also come the conclusion that female management has a positive effect on results in general and profits as a whole. Introducing the quota will make sure enough females land in the positions they deserve, while at the same time widening the pool of talent the company can draw from.

Norway and The Netherlands already have quota laws in place to make sure the female part of the workforce also makes it into management, instead of being limited to lesser careers thanks to antiquated ideas about roles still being commonplace in the minds of men.

Germany is currently not pushing quota laws, but is hoping companies will see the light and introduce quotas by themselves. Deutsche Telekom is the first corporation in the Dax-30 index of Germany’s largest, publicly traded companies to announce such a measure. Hopefully, others will follow.