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German Diversity Day 2022: Changing perspectives at workplaces

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What is diversity?

Though diversity definitions vary, the word means something that contains a variety of different elements. We might talk about the cultural diversity of society, for instance. More specifically, diversity dimensions include innate or internal characteristics such as race, gender, sexuality or ability. Then again, diversity experts refer to personal interests, education, religion, family status and nationality or citizenship external dimensions. Notably, diversity can also stem from personalities, cultural beliefs, social and marital status and disabilities.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Companies and public organisations stand to benefit from implementing effective diversity management policies. In particular, introducing variety in staff recruitment tends to lead to innovation, new ways of thinking and creative approaches to problem-solving. Typically, employees in the workforce are between the ages of eighteen and their mid-twenties – or later for post-graduates. Decades later, as our working life draws to a close in our late fifties or sixties, we retire and make way for new blood. Nonetheless, it is not unusual in some professions and industries to remain active in part-time or voluntary roles. It is important to avoid stereotyping and unwittingly discriminating against a senior employee or contractor who can still make a valid contribution in such cases. Similarly, different nationalities can bring refreshing approaches to customer service. Their input and way of working could well be valuable, for instance, to a company looking to market its products or services either in a distant country or to other cultural groups. Organisational diversity could include widening the range of job management roles. It covers attributes such as departments, location, seniority and union or association membership, too.

Diversity Management

As part of the human resource remit, this management responsibility involves recognising and deploying individual employees to work in harmony. Implemented successfully, it maximises employees' knowledge and skills while minimising quirks. As a result, diversity management helps to achieve organisational objectives more effectively. As a case study, the Belgium-based Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) DiversIT charter aims to bring together stakeholders from European industries, institutions, charities and the public sector. One of their aims is to increase inclusivity.

Defining diversity

Franko Došen - Croatia/Germany

"...that characters are as different as the fingers on our hand, but you don't want to do without any of them."

Janina Szymankiewicz - Poland

"...being able to learn from different cultures and environments while respecting them. I find that it enriches my life and makes me feel accepted as an immigrant in Berlin.​"

Jane Adler - Israel/Germany

" be as beautiful and powerful as the rainbow with all its different colours.​"

Bernd Biselli - Germany

"...the art of thinking independently together."​

Gülsün Cakmak​ - Turkey/Germany

"...many different flowers make up a bouquet."

Diversity on the job
''I find German professional life less challenging than in Turkey. Work and life balance is very important here in Germany whereas it is very normal to do overtime in Turkey.'' - Olca
''The biggest difficulty is that Chinese people are more euphemistic in doing things, and they are not very likely to refuse in many cases. Germans are more direct in doing things. In the early days of my career, this cultural difference was difficult to handle.'' - Zhenran
''The very direct, constructive criticism was challenging for when I first started working in Germany. Now that I am more accustomed to it, I’ve come to appreciate it as I am made aware immediately of areas that need to be improved and how to achieve that.'' - Marit

One thing about my culture is...


''...not all Germans are punctual!''


''...Ukrainians are very hardworking people and in order to build good and successful relationships, mutual trust is a requirement!''


''...Israelis are very quick & direct, whereas Germans take more time to think and try to be polite instead of just saying what they want to.''


''...Azeri people are very welcoming and guest-friendly. One of the best things about Azerbaijan is great food. Very tasty fruits, vegetables and meat!''

Mariana/Costa Rica

'' thing that truly characterises Costa Ricans is their warmth. We love our country and we want others to love it, too, so we always make sure people feel happy and have a good time.''

Our diversity initiatives
In the entrance area of our headquarters, there was a world map where all employees could stick a flag on their place of origin. The result was a great overview of how international our team is.
In the middle of the day, external speaker Svenja Eigendorf reported from her role as diversity manager at Value AG and gave exciting insights into diversity and the development of prejudices.
Another highlight was the "music beyond borders" event. Employees were asked to name a song that they associate with diversity and that means something to them in this context. We then collected these songs in a playlist and played them on the roof terrace for a get-together to round off the day. A successful end to an eventful day with a lot of open exchange with each other.
During the diversity day, we at ZIEGERT asked our colleagues from various backgrounds to do a small survey and share their thoughts about differences between German and their native cultures, as well as share something unique about their own culture. We received various interesting answers.
Learn more about diversity in the workplace

Written by:

EverEstate, Marketing

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