Corporate Culture and Employees
Approach to Diversity and Equal Opportunities
A core element of German and European culture is guaranteeing that all human beings are treated equally, regardless of age, ethnic origin, nationality, gender, sexual identity, physical or mental abilities, religion, world view, sexual orientation, social background, education or disability. We still have some way to go before we achieve full equality of opportunity.
For us as a company it goes without saying that we treat everyone equally and appreciate them as individuals. This is the only way that we can benefit from the different perspectives and approaches that result from the social, cultural and linguistic backgrounds of our employees in a trusting and open atmosphere. This also enables us to contribute to a positive image of diversity in our society and to actively confront discrimination.
We are aware that women are under-represented in management positions and in manual trades. This should not be the case. We are committed to making our industry more attractive for female employees. We also want to support women in management positions.
With this in mind, we have defined our approach to diversity and equal opportunities as a material topic.
Vonovia gives high priority to offering its employees a working environment that is appreciative, team-oriented and one in which all employees can assume responsibility. Our workforce includes people from more than 70 different countries across all age groups. A wide range of cultures, genders, educational backgrounds and disabilities are represented at Vonovia. This diversity mirrors the diversity of our customers and has a positive influence on our interaction with them. For us, diversity is a clear competitive advantage that we want to actively promote.
work at Vonovia
We promote diversity in our company based on compliance with national and international guidelines like the Diversity Charter, which we signed in 2013, as well as our own strict voluntary commitments such as our Code of Conduct and the Declaration of Respect for Human Rights made by the entire Management Board.
See also: Compliance and Guidelines - Our Approach
National and International Guidelines
- Core ILO norms
- UN Global Compact
- Diversity Charter
- General Equal Treatment Act (AGG)
We treat all employees equally across the Group. We offer them a working environment defined by appreciation, tolerance and respect. We foster this environment by taking diversity issues into account when recruiting new employees, particularly in our manual trades and for management roles.
gender pay gap at management level
(first and second management levels
below the Management Board)
Remuneration at Vonovia is based on performance and market-related factors and is not dependent on gender. We have harmonized the majority of the policies on special benefits across the Group to ensure that this remains the case following the integration of BUWOG and Victoria Park in recent years. If there is still a gender pay gap, Human Resources will point it out to the responsible senior executive (see Fair and Appreciative Remuneration).
There were no incidents of discrimination at Vonovia in 2020.
All managers in the company are responsible for implementing and respecting our diversity and equal opportunity standards and complying with the corresponding policies on a daily basis.
More information can be found in the section Appeal as an employer.
Objectives and Measures
We aim to promote the diversity of our workforce across the company while maintaining equality of opportunity.
New non-financial performance metric from 2021
Proportion of women in management positions
At Vonovia, women are significantly underrepresented in the workforce structure, accounting for a share of 24.7%, mainly because of technical occupations in the trades. Vonovia promotes the recruitment and career progression of women – especially in management roles – as part of its succession planning in order to increase diversity and expand the pool of qualified staff. We select our employees on the basis of their qualifications and skills. We make sure that we take active measures to support women and to open up opportunities for them to assume management and technical roles. In 2020, our training for female managers focused on topics relating to leadership, personality and strategy. We try to make it easy for women to join our company, particularly the manual trades, using internships, entry-level qualifications, and the annual Girls’ Day. Many of these activities unfortunately had to be restricted or canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. We usually also take part in the Training Ambassadors program run by the Chamber of Trade and Industry. We recruited more than 400 new female employees in 2020. 60% of the places in our trainee program in Germany went to female employees, exceeding our target of 50%. All job adverts in German are gender-neutral in line with anti-discrimination legislation. We prioritize a gender balance in the workforce if candidates are equally qualified during the recruitment process.
In Sweden, we offer a special program for long-term unemployed tenants. Each year we recruit unemployed tenants for temporary employment with us as environmental caretakers. We manage this scheme through our local managers working with internal recruiters. Through temporary employment of 12–18 months, we help build a bridge to the primary labor market. See project box “Commitment to Socially Sustainable Communities”.
We ensure that the diversity concept applies to management and supervisory boards in the context of the General Act on Equal Treatment and our commitment to increasing the share of women in management positions (Annual Report 2020). IIn order to emphasize the importance of equal opportunity and diversity across the whole Group, an adjustment was made to the metric “Proportion of the under-represented gender at the first and second management level below the Management Board.” In recent years the target of 30% only applied to the SE entity in the Group; the new figure applies to the entire Group. The target has also been adjusted to 26%, to be achieved by 2024, and has been included in our Sustainable Performance Index (SPI).
of managers at the first two levels below
the Management Board are women
In addition, Vonovia employees in Germany have to attend anti-discrimination training sessions, primarily on the AGG and the Code of Conduct. Anti-discrimination is a key aspect of management training on labor law and recruiting in Austria. In Sweden, internal recruiters are also present when new employees are hired in order to ensure that the issue of anti-discrimination is addressed.
Integrating refugees into working life is another way in which we intend to attract qualified staff. We therefore include refugees in our recruitment process, and have set up a pilot project to organize recruitment days for refugees in cooperation with the German Employment Agency. We currently have 46 refugees in apprenticeship positions in Germany. We devised the “Assistants Become Technicians” project in Germany in 2020 to recognize professional qualifications obtained by people in other countries. Here we work with external partners at state and national level, e.g., with the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH) and the Federal Employment Agency.
refugees in training (in Germany)
Planned for 2021
- Access to the employee share program and tax-free employer grants for capital formation purposes for all employees
- Continued participation in the equalitA award program of the Federal Ministry for Digitalization and Economy in Austria, which recognizes companies’ achievements in the areas of support for female employees and gender equality in Austria.
- Train executives and managers to give preliminary advice to refugees in the course of the project “Assistants Become Technicians”