We embrace diversity & social responsibility.
A diverse workforce regardless of gender, age, culture or handicap offers a lot of potential. It makes us diverse and allows us to assume social responsibility.
Embracing diversity means being aware of, appreciating and consciously taking advantage of the differences among employees. Our diversity management system focuses on four dimensions:
- Physical and psychological abilities
By systematically promoting diversity, we are also supporting the Group's strategy.
The fact that the majority of employees are male is quite obvious – at least at our maintenance depots. Our goal is to increase the proportion of women in the long term and to have more women in leadership positions. To achieve this goal, we start early on by engaging with young female high potentials. As part of various programmes we approach female pupils and students early on in their lives to arouse interest in technical careers. These programmes include:
- The nationwide career guidance project "Girls' Day" on which we open our doors to our maintenance depots and give young girls in grade 5 and higher an understanding of our vocational training programmes.
- The "Girls Go Technik" event where school girls can experience industrial-technical professions first hand.
- Cooperation with schools and universities (see cooperative education programme under the "Promoting junior staff" menu item)
Later on Group-wide networks such as the "DB's Women's Network" promote the exchange between female employees within the DB Group. In addition, women-focused seminars and coaching/mentoring programmes offered by DB Training support women in various individual situations. Many additional offers help harmonise professional and family life, for example:
- Our individual working time and shift models
- Trust-based working hours
- Part-time work
- Home office
- Assistance in finding childcare facilities
- Reintegration support after parental leave
- Possibility to save overtime to a long-term working time account to enable employees to take e.g. a sabbatical
(Obviously, many of these offers are also available to male employees.)
Especially at our maintenance depots, which in some cases have existed for over 100 years, it is not unusual for several generations of the same family to have worked at a maintenance depot. Demographic change is not only affecting age distribution but also the way we interact with each other. Collaboration between different generations offers plenty of potential but also poses challenges. For example, it is extremely important that the valuable expertise of our older employees is not lost but passed on to younger employees. Some of our maintenance depots have already addressed this issue by introducing a systematic knowledge management system. In collaboration with the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU), the maintenance depot Cottbus, for example, has developed a modern competence and knowledge management system tailored specifically to the maintenance depot.
Diversity of physical and psychological abilities
We have more than 100 positions for employees with handicaps in our six workshops for disabled employees in Hanover, Cologne-Nippes, Ingolstadt, Wanne-Eickel, Kirchmöser and Cottbus. Whether they refurbish or manufacture rail-specific parts and components, perform metal work or screen printing tasks, test and repair fire extinguishers, or manufacture gift items and stamps: Our employees in the workshops for disabled employees make their own special contribution to creating value for our company. Among our customers are many who have been relying on the expertise, reliability and quality of the IWS for many years
Working together with people from different cultures and appreciating one another is vital to us in our daily routine. At the same time we embrace diversity and social responsibility by offering refugees career prospects. The maintenance depot Munich (EZW) is especially committed to this cause and has offered several refugees internships, vocational training vacancies and even employment. In November 2015, the DB Group awarded the EZW with the Lighthouse Prize for its commitment.
Cultural commitment and community involvement as part of the "Deutsche Bahn Trainees against Hatred and Violence" initiative
"Deutsche Bahn Trainees against Hatred and Violence" was launched in 2000 as a joint initiative by the DB Group and the German Railway and Transport Union (EVG). Right from the outset committed trainee teams from our maintenance depots were involved in the initiative.
Every autumn DB trainees in their first year are called upon to participate in the initiative. The categories are "cultural diversity", "cooperation between colleagues" and "community involvement". With a high level of commitment, creativity and a clear commitment to tolerance, freedom from discrimination, social diversity and democracy, our trainees have already implemented remarkable projects.
In 2016, the trainees focused their attention on the support and integration of refugees, poverty in Germany as well as mobbing and exclusion. For example, they organised sports events with refugees and offered their support to a Travellers' Aid Society. They also interviewed people in their region about their feelings towards and experience with immigrants and well as immigrants about their experiences.
In this competition, a jury honours the seven best teams. Teams from
DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung have been among the winners on several occasions.
But no matter which teams are awarded, all projects are important and characterised by a high level of commitment by our trainees and the great support from their colleagues – especially our functional trainee coordinators.