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Deutsche Telekom is first Dax 30 company to introduce women’s quota


* 30 percent of management positions worldwide to be filled by women by end of 2015
* Laying foundations with quotas throughout entire talent chain
* René Obermann: “Categorical necessity, not enforcement of misconstrued egalitarianism”
* Minister for Family Affairs Kristina Schröder: “Deutsche Telekom is setting a fine example”

Taking female advancement seriously: Deutsche Telekom is the first Dax 30 company to introduce a women’s quota. By the end of 2015, thirty percent of upper and middle management positions in the company are to be filled by women. This regulation applies worldwide. In addition to broadening its talent pool, Deutsche Telekom is also expecting to add value to the company in the long term with greater diversity at management level.

“Taking on more women in management positions is not about the enforcement of misconstrued egalitarianism. It is a matter of social fairness and a categorical necessity for our success. Having a greater number of women at the top will quite simply enable us to operate better,” said Deutsche Telekom’s CEO, René Obermann, in justification of the Board of Management’s decision to introduce a women’s quota.

CHRO Thomas Sattelberger ruled out any possibility of the quota lowering the requirements for applicants for management positions at Deutsche Telekom: “The introduction of a women’s quota is not a tokenistic gesture aimed at political correctness, but the tangible and sustainable implementation of equal opportunities for top talents regardless of gender. Our 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.”

Kristina Schröder, Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, in praise of Deutsche Telekom’s initiative: “Women have long since established themselves in the working world. But when it comes to important decision-making, men still rule the roost. Companies can, however, no longer afford to do without women’s skills in the corner offices. I am therefore delighted that a company like Deutsche Telekom is voluntarily setting such a fine example. A legally prescribed quota for women on supervisory boards must be the very last resort. We will only succeed in bringing about the necessary changes by gaining the business world’s support, not by fighting against it.”

The women’s quota is also a far-sighted response to the medium-term development of the employment and talent market, said Sattelberger. Around 60 percent of all business graduates from German universities are now women, for example. “A glass ceiling is, however, clearly still stopping too many talented females from making it to the top. Introducing the women’s quota will enable us to break through this ceiling”, said Deutsche Telekom’s CHRO, hoping it will also send out a positive message to female graduates. For Deutsche Telekom, the quota is also an important part of the strategic workforce restructuring process as it ensures constructive, fair and sustainable expansion of the talent pool that will provide the managers of tomorrow’s world.

Deutsche Telekom’s CHRO is also convinced of the economic necessity of the women’s quota. Studies confirm that companies with a higher percentage of women achieve better results and greater profitability. Investors and funds also increasingly look for sustainable business practices, which include gender equality.

Intense discussions are also being held at EU level and in certain European countries on the introduction of a women’s quota following Norway’s example. Some European countries are already preparing legislation to this effect.

Implementation of the 30-percent quota for management positions at Deutsche Telekom will be prepared systematically on the basis of targets governing, for example, the recruitment of university graduates, selection processes, talent pools and participation in executive development programs. In the coming years, the number of female graduates recruited from cooperative study programs and universities is, for example, to be nearly double to the percentage of women on corresponding higher education degrees and this ratio will subsequently be increased annually. At least 30 percent of participants in executive development programs must be women in the future.

Its decision to systematically raise the share of female talent in management positions also marks the expansion of Deutsche Telekom’s work-life balance program. Parental leave systems, part-time models for managers, flexible working hours schemes and child care options are all being developed and practical support services for everyday life made available.

About Deutsche Telekom AG
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with over 151 million mobile customers, more than 38 million fixed-network lines and over 15 million broadband lines (as of Dec.31,2009). Its product brands are T-Home (fixed-network telephony, broadband Internet), T-Mobile (mobile communications), and T-Systems (ICT solutions). As an international Group with approximately 260,000 employees operating in around 50 countries worldwide (as of December 31, 2009), Deutsche Telekom generated more than half of its revenue - EUR 64.6 billion - outside of Germany in 2009.


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