In the year under review, as in prior years, we continued to step up our activities in relation to diversity management and especially the advancement of women. In the period from March 2013 to March 2014 we held a mentoring programme for women as part of a pilot scheme. Five mentee / mentor tandems worked on specific issues facing each of the mentees at regular meetings. Following its conclusion we evaluated the programme and its results. It was pleasing to see the thoroughly positive evaluation both as regards the scheme’s implementation and in relation to the cooperation between mentee and mentor; the clearly evident personal growth of the mentees was similarly highly gratifying. This mentoring programme was also perceived – as had been intended – as a special sign of appreciation and an intensive personnel development measure in the context of the advancement of women. The Executive Board therefore decided to continue with this programme. Preparations were made for the next round in September 2014 with two company-wide information events aimed at the target group. The application and selection phase took place in the fourth quarter of 2014, and another five mentee / mentor tandems are set to enter the mentoring programme at the beginning of 2015.
In January 2014 the advancement of women was also a topical focus of our regularly held Executive Meeting. The centrepiece here was a keynote presentation, supported by outside speakers, on the themes of “glass ceilings” and “gender-specific communication”. These topics, and the resulting implications for the advancement of women, were explored in practical terms for our senior managers. We tapped into this momentum by launching our new in-house executive training session on the subject of “gender-specific communication”. The aim of these two days of training, which are highly practically oriented, is to make our senior managers more aware of the differences in communication behaviour between women and men. The two seminar events held in the year under review were well received and it is envisaged that they will again form part of our internal training programme in 2015.
The advancement of women was also the subject of a number of decentralised events. For example, various parts of the company used their retreats to explore the opportunities, consequences and limits of this topic by way of presentations and discussions.
In conclusion, it can be stated that the general perception of the advancement of women within the company has changed for the better.
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