German Diversity Index 2021 – Diversity Commitment Among The DAX 30

Düsseldorf, June 1, 2021 – The German Diversity Index published today reflects the transparency of the diversity commitment of the DAX 30 companies in their annual and sustainability reports of 2020. The short-term aim of the index is to provide a comprehensive representation of the commitment to diversity in the company reports. In the medium-term, the commitment to diversity is to be intensified through the transparency and comparability among the companies. SAP heads the German Diversity Index 2021.

Today, the diversity initiative BeyondGenderAgenda has published the German Diversity Index 2021, under the scientific supervision of Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt, from the Chair of International Management at Otto von Guericke University. The ranking, which was created for the first time, shows the top 10 DAX 30 companies in terms of the communication of their diversity efforts in the annual and sustainability reports 2020. The index evaluation is based on three main categories, which correspond to the demands of the diversity study German Diversity Monitor 2020 by BeyondGenderAgenda: (1) A holistic understanding of diversity, (2) diversity is an executive directive, (3) defining key performance indicators. Each category is weighted equally into the index calculation. The short-term goal is for the diversity efforts of the DAX 30 companies to be transparently documented in the annual and sustainability report and for progress in the documentation to be visible. In the medium-term, the corporations shall be motivated to intensify and expand their existing commitment to diversity.


  1.  Holistic understanding of diversity: In this category, the company’s communication is analysed regarding the following diversity dimensions represented in the annual and sustainability report: gender, age, disabilities, cultural origin, sexual orientation and gender identity as well as social background. Above all, companies with a holistic understanding of diversity that communicate several categories of diversity in their annual or sustainability report are acknowledged.
  2. Diversity is an executive directive: The focus here is on the letter of the Board of Management to the shareholders. Points are awarded for addressing diversity and for using gender-sensitive language. In addition, points are granted if the management dedicates a separate section to the topic of diversity in the annual report and thus clarifies its importance within the company.
  3. Defining key performance indicators: In this category, the information on current and planned diversity in the board and the first two management levels below the board is assessed. For the present diversity, the existing diversity characteristics are evaluated at each of these management levels. Points are awarded for the intended diversity if the target quota is specified and is greater than the current quota.

If the annual and/or sustainability reports did not provide sufficient information on the index categories, the companies were contacted. This year, as an exception, they had the opportunity to submit missing information with corresponding evidence. 16 of the 30 DAX companies contacted have made use of this option. This exception will no longer apply as of next year, as the objectives for the index are now known with the first publication and companies can adjust their publications accordingly for the financial year 2021.

“With the German Diversity Index, we want to motivate the companies from the DAX 30 to comprehensively communicate their commitment to diversity in their business and sustainability reports. This transparency increases the comparability among the companies and thus the pressure to change. To reflect the structure of our society in the economy, I would like the DAX 30 to have a much more pronounced commitment to diversity in the medium-term. As our leading companies, they set an example and have a corresponding responsibility”, says Victoria Wagner, founder and CEO of BeyondGenderAgenda, explaining the objective of the index.


The Ranking in Detail


The German Diversity Index 2021 is headed by SAP with 67.5 out of 100 achievable points. Nevertheless, with almost two thirds of the possible number of points, there is still room for improvement. Allianz is closely behind with 64.7 points and BMW completes the top 3 with 62.3 points.

13 of the DAX 30 companies achieved at least half of the possible 100 points. Close behind are 10 other companies with a score of 47-49. The current top 10 is therefore under strong competitive pressure for the future surveys.

The average is 49 points and shows that rather poor results were achieved, especially in the lower third. The company with the lowest number of points did not even achieve a quarter of the possible number of points with 24.2 points.

Detailed results by category:

  1. Holistic understanding of diversity: The average is 79% of the possible 13 companies achieved the full number of points: Allianz, Bayer, BMW, Delivery Hero, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, Fresenius Medical Care, Henkel, Merck, SAP, Siemens, and Volkswagen.
  2. Diversity is an executive directive: The average is 62% of the possible points. Adidas, Münchener Rück, SAP, and Vonovia achieved 100% in this category.
  3. Defining key performance indicators: The average is only 6% of the possible Only two companies achieved more than 10% of the possible number of points: Allianz and Deutsche Börse.

“The results of the individual categories show clear discrepancies: The requirement ‘holistic understanding of diversity’ is best met with an average of 79%. Four of the DAX 30 companies have shown that diversity is ‘an executive directive’ for them with full points in this category. There is a lot of catching up to do with the ‘definition of key performance indicators’. The average score of only 6% achieved in this category is due to the absence of communication of the current and planned diversity in the company reports. There was a lack of detailed information, especially for the first and second management level”, Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt explains the results.

“I am happy that the companies in the DAX 30 now largely have a comprehensive understanding of diversity. On the other hand, I am very critical of the results in the category ‘Defining key performance indicators’. Beyond ‘gender’, there is usually an insufficient data situation. Data protection should not be used as an excuse, however. Rather, an appreciative, inclusive culture provides a suitable basis of trust so that employees open up and are happy to contribute the relevant information for more transparency”, comments Victoria Wagner.

You will also find all information as of June 1st, 2021 at:



Beyond Gender Agenda GmbH
Kaiserswerther Straße 282
40474 Düsseldorf Germany

Mobile: +49 175 5815 464


About BeyondGenderAgenda
BeyondGenderAgenda has set itself the goal of securing and expanding the international competitiveness of the German economy in the long term by integrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) into the DNA of listed and medium-sized companies. Based on the clear connection between DE&I and business performance, equal opportunities of managers with disability, of different gender, age, cultural and social background, sexual orientation or gender identity in the composition of board positions and supervisory board mandates should be ensured and thus a change of culture involving politics, society and economy be brought about.

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