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Cooperate in diversity

At GIZ, diversity is the norm. The diversity of our workforce creates added value at corporate level.

A diverse workforce means diversity of lifestyles, perspectives, ideas and knowledge. We at GIZ value and promote this diversity – it is in our DNA. A respectful working environment, a clear rejection of all forms of discrimination, and a corporate culture based on appreciation and trust combine to promote inclusion and equal opportunities. We benefit from this as a company.

We have an intersectional understanding of diversity, acknowledging that, in many cases, multiple characteristics – such as age, gender, religion or ethnic identity – overlap and therefore intensify the potential for experiencing discrimination. In order to mainstream this understanding throughout the company, we carried out various awareness-raising measures for our staff worldwide in 2022, including panel discussions, a book reading and a campaign to get people actively involved.

Photo: Several people holding up a rainbow flag behind them.
© shutterstock
The dimensions of diversity

Our diversity management system looks at where the seven dimensions of diversity set out in the German Diversity Charter overlap:

  1. Age
  2. Ethnic background and nationality
  3. Gender and gender identity
  4. Physical and mental abilities
  5. Religion and worldview
  6. Sexual orientation
  7. Social background

In this reporting year, we also drove forward measures to address specific dimensions of diversity – both as a company as a whole and individually in the different divisions and countries.

Inclusion at GIZ

GIZ has been a member of Valuable 500, a global initiative of companies committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities, since December 2022. Specifically, we are committed to recruiting more people with disabilities, working continuously to raise staff awareness of inclusion, and to becoming even more inclusive and barrier-free as an employer. We use what we call action plans to achieve this. In 2022, for example, we drafted an Action Plan on Digital Accessibility with the aim of making all our websites, mobile applications and other digital tools as accessible as possible to all staff members.

Women in leadership

The measures in our Equal Opportunities Plan are designed to improve gender equality. We focus in particular on women in leadership positions. We promote this through activities such as training courses to raise managers’ awareness of the issue, or mentoring programmes for women in Germany and around the world.

GIZ’s country office in Mauritania is an example of how our strategy to promote women is consistently put into practice. The gender index developed there provides information on differences in roles and salaries between the genders, thereby enabling action to be taken to counteract this. For example, through a very special kind of job shadowing: Mauritanian GIZ staff member Mariem M’Beirik was still a technical expert in the summer of 2022 when she took over project management duties for one week on a trial basis. A lot has happened since this job shadowing experience. M’Beirik now heads up a project component herself.

47 per cent

of leadership positions in Germany and abroad are held by women (2021: 46 per cent).

Portrait photo: Mariem M’Beirik.

»I could not have had any better preparation for a future leadership role. No training course could have given me the insights that I gained through my job shadowing experience.«

Mariem M’Beirik,
project manager in Mauritania
© GIZ / Benjamin Moscovici

Diversity in figures

At the end of 2022, 60 per cent of the approximately 8,300 staff with a German employment contract at GIZ were women. Women held 51 per cent of leadership posts in Germany. The proportion of women in the field structure has risen steadily in recent years and currently stands at 43 per cent. There are employees from a total of 121 different nations with a German employment contract. Of the employees from partner countries, the biggest groups are from Kenya (28) and Cameroon (25). The overall biggest group of staff is made up of EU nationals. People with a disability accounted for 3.4 per cent of staff at the end of 2022, which equates to an increase of 0.2 percentage points compared to the end of 2021.

Below you will find information about the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) sustainability standards:

GRI 2: General Disclosures 2021

Material topic 7: Diversity and gender

  • Additional relevant information about GRI, the German Sustainability Code and the Global Compact can be found here