Study design
Zentrale Aussagen
German Diversity Evolution
Expectations of German Companies

German Diversity Monitor 2020

The German Diversity Monitor 2020 from BeyondGenderAgenda, in cooperation with the Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, was an initial inventory of the diversity in the boards and management of leading German companies and was carried out in the initiative’s first year of operation, and will serve as a reference for future studies.

The German Diversity Monitor is carried out annually to identify progress and changes, and to make the impact of the initiative measurable. The first study was carried out in Spring 2020 with restrictions due to the corona pandemic.

We would like to thank all participating companies for their willingness to further advance the important topic of diversity in Germany by answering our survey.

Study design

Two studies were carried out as part of the German Diversity Monitor in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the status of diversity in the German corporate landscape. By combining primary and secondary data, the study paints a representative picture of the objective diversity in the companies listed in the DAX indices, as well as the subjective perspective of top managers and employees of German companies.

Study 1

An analysis of the annual reports of the companies listed in the DAX 30, MDAX and SDAX

The annual reports of the 160 companies listed in the DAX 30, MDAX and SDAX in 2019 were used to determine the composition of the Board of Management and the target and fulfillment rates for the proportion of women on the Board of Management. 

In addition, 155 annual reports from 2015 were evaluated in order to record the development over time of female representation on German management boards as of December 31st. 

The key date for a company to belong to the respective share index was April 27, 2020. 

Information was also taken from websites, reports and press releases of companies.

Study 2

A survey was carried out with the medium-sized companies listed in the DAX 30, MDAX, SDAX to analyze the perception of diversity and an inclusive work environment

The data was collected from March to June 2020 in standardized web-based surveys. The companies listed in the DAX 30, MDAX, SDAX and medium-sized companies based in Germany were asked to take part in the survey. A total of 109 companies responded to this call. The survey was completed by members of the company management and personnel management. 

On average, the companies surveyed employ 11,704 full-time employees (minimum = 250; maximum = 670,000). 28% of the companies are listed, 68% are privately owned and 5% are state-owned companies. 51% of the companies generate their turnover mainly through the distribution of products; 49% mainly offer services. The participating companies are assigned to a large number of industrial sectors. 

The majority of the companies in the sample operate internationally. 40% of them operate in more than five countries. In contrast, there are 10% of companies that operate exclusively in Germany.

Main Findings

Understanding of diversity is insufficient

The economic benefits of diversity are not recognized

German management levels are homogeneous

Continuity is more imporant than diversity

There is a lack of systematic data management for all diversity categories

Diversity budgets are not used in a targeted manner

German Diversity Evolution

Due to the currently inadequate data situation, a comprehensive evaluation is currently only possible with regard to the gender diversity category. One goal of the German Diversity Monitor is to motivate companies to consider all diversity categories so that a comprehensive picture of the evolution of diversity in German companies can be obtained in the future.

Expectations of German Companies


Holistic Understanding of Diversity

Diversity categories are reduced. Diversity must be viewed comprehensively in companies and must not be restricted to individuals. 


Defining Key Performance Indicators

The benefits of diversity for corporate success must be measurable using key performance indicators (KPIs) and targeted data management.


Diversity is an Executive Directive

Top management bodies must exemplify diversity and specifically promote it.


Establishing an Inclusive Work Environment

Companies should actively promote not only diversity but also inclusion, because without an inclusive work environment, diversity is ineffective.


Diversity-Pioneers 2020

Renate Wagner

Board of Management of
Allianz SE

"As a global financial services provider, we have to understand our customer base in all its diversity - and this works best when we reflect this diversity in the company, even beyond the gender issue. We value our cultural diversity very much and are working systematically to further deepen all diversity dimensions."

Ilka Horstmeier
Ilka Horstmeier

Head of Human Resources at
BMW AG and Labor Director

"We are firmly convinced that diversity strengthens our business success and increases our attractiveness as an employer. That is why we actively promote diversity. And because we really understand diversity as such, diversity encompasses all dimensions for us."

Ursula Schwarzenbart

Head of Talent Development and Diversity Management at Daimler AG

"Diversity is our engine for ideas and innovations and has been an integral part of our corporate strategy for 15 years. Diversity goals are anchored in the company's management; we have set clear goals in personnel development and talent promotion in order to strengthen a culture of appreciation and respect. In this way we can make a contribution to society, set important impulses and develop sustainably."

Timotheus Höttges

CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG

Birgit Bohle

Head of Human Resources and Law, Labor Director, Deutsche Telekom AG

"Diversity, inclusion, gender equality, cultural identity: big concepts! Young and experienced, women and men, national and international - the diversity and mix makes the difference and makes us stronger in the competition. The board of directors sets an example This creates new things for our customers and employees."

Sylvie Nicol

Head of HR at Henkel

"The German Diversity Monitor 2020 clearly shows the need for action. Diversity means much more than gender diversity. Making progress on diversity and inclusion is a matter of attitude. We have to be open to change and appreciate heterogeneity, especially at management level. Only then will we be able to make tangible progress and transform diversity into a long-term success factor."

BeyondGenderAgenda Partner Companies

Belgin Rudack

Chairwoman of the Board of Management, Creditplus Bank AG
Advisory Board member of BeyondGenderAgenda

"In an increasingly technology-oriented world, it is important to use and promote the accumulated knowledge of people from different walks of life in all industries in order to remain competitive. That's why I clearly focus on diversity at Creditplus Bank. However, the first German Diversity Monitor shows that this is not yet a matter of course in Germany. There is some catching up to do here."

Jonas Brennwald

LIXIL Water Technology EMENA
& Co-CEO Grohe AG

"Diversity and inclusion are important pillars of our sustainability strategy at LIXIL. The German Diversity Monitor 2020 clearly shows that there is still a lot of catching up to do on these issues - we too are still at the beginning of our journey."

Dr. Ulrich Störk

Management spokesman,
PwC Deutschland

"For me, diversity and integration are on the executive's agenda. This is also underlined by the results of the German Diversity Monitor 2020. Our principle at PwC is accordingly: Be yourself. Be different. We encourage and demand diversity, every day. Because colorful teams and diverse talents make the difference."

Stefan Schaible

Global Managing Partner,
Roland Berger

"With diversity at management level, there is still a long way to go in the German economy. The topic should be understood broadly and not limited to gender or origin, for example, but rather an elementary cultural change. In addition, it must be a matter for the boss and backed by measurable goals."


15. Sep 2020
Diversity Monitor: von Vorreitern und Verweigerern
15. Sep 2020
In deutschen Führungsebenen ist Diversität Mangelware
14. Sep 2020
Diversität ist in deutschen Konzernen bisher ein reines Lippenbekenntnis

Press contact

Beyond Gender Agenda GmbH
Kaiserswerther Straße 282
D-40474 Düsseldorf
Phone: +49 211 909 889-62
Mobile: +49 173 763 6711

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.

For more information on BeyondGenderAgenda please visit

About Victoria Wagner

Victoria Wagner, founder and CEO of BeyondGenderAgenda, is a passionate entrepreneur and communication expert. After holding leading positions in the international consumer goods industry, she founded Brandzeichen, Germany's first agency for brand communication in 2004, which she sold to the listed US network, Omnicom, in 2013. Wagner was the first woman to become CEO of the leading German PR agency, Ketchum Pleon. In 2019, Victoria Wagner founded the strategy consulting company Alternativlos, where she advises C-suite executives on personal branding.

About Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schmidt is a professor of international management in economics department of the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg. In her research, she deals with strategic diversity management and intercultural challenges in international organizations, the influence of digitization on the internationalization process, and organizational drivers for innovative behavior among employees in organizations.

„Der German Diversity Award verkörpert alle Aspekte sowie Möglichkeiten der Gleichberechtigung und Inklusion. Er trägt dazu bei, alle jene großartigen Initiativen sichtbar zu machen, die Diversität und Inklusion auf ihre Art voran treiben und so eine offenere Gesellschaft fördern. Wir freuen uns daher sehr, auch den diesjährigen Award wieder in der Kategorie Audience Award zu unterstützen und großartige Vorbilder auszuzeichnen.“


„Wir sind der Überzeugung, dass nur durch Vielfalt Innovationen entstehen und kommende Herausforderungen gemeistert werden können. Persönlichkeiten, die sich bereits herausragend für Diversität und Inklusion engagieren, sind die Vorbilder, die es braucht, um Veränderung zu bewirken. Daher freuen wir uns, den German Diversity Award auch in diesem Jahr wieder in der Kategorie Personality of the Year zu unterstützen.“


„Chancengerechtigkeit steht für die DB an erster Stelle. Die soziale Herkunft eines Menschen darf für die schulische & berufliche Entwicklung nicht entscheidend sein. Als eine der größten Arbeitgeberinnen Deutschlands wollen wir unseren Teil dazu beitragen und Diversity in all ihren Facetten fördern. Daher freuen wir uns sehr, den German Diversity Award 2021 in der Kategorie Social Mobility zu unterstützen.“


„Nach der gelungenen Premiere des German Diversity Award in 2020, freuen wir uns auch in diesem Jahr die Kategorie Ethnicity zu unterstützen. Denn wir sind überzeugt davon, dass es entscheidend für den Zusammenhalt der Gesellschaft sein wird, dass Menschen mit Migrationsgeschichte echte Aufstiegschancen erhalten. Es gibt nach wie vor zu wenige Unternehmen in Deutschland, die den Wert von diversen Teams erkennen und für sich nutzen.“


„When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become a wiser, more inclusive, and better organization. Smart teams will do amazing things, but truly diverse teams will do impossible things. Our Great Place to work certification in 23 countries up to now are an important recognition of our strong, cross-regional workplace culture we are aiming for. We are proud to sponsor the German Diversity Award to honor those who are leading by example.“