The German Diversity Index 2021 was published by BeyondGenderAgenda, under the scientific supervision of Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt, from the Chair of International Management at Otto von Guericke University.
The German Diversity Index 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.
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.
Chair of International Management, Otto von Guericke University
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.