More diversity in the economy

More diversity in the economy

Diversity management as an integral part of the corporate culture

With the non-profit initiative "Einstieg zum Aufstieg", the VBKI paves the way for immigrants to enter the labor market and thus promotes more diversity in the economy.

But what does "diversity" actually mean and how can we succeed in making diversity an integral part of our corporate culture? We discussed this in our virtual politics and business talk with the four speakers Aynur Boldaz-Özdemir, Elisabeth Niejahr, Christan Macht and Filiz Keküllüoğlu. The event was moderated by Belul Bokrezion, business consultant and research assistant at BQN Berlin e.V.

With the National Action Plan on Integration, the German government has acknowledged the importance of intercultural openness and diversity management in business and administration. At 67 percent, the majority of German companies also believe that more diversity brings concrete benefits. And yet there are still often problems with implementation.


Christian Macht, CEO of ELEMENT Insurance AG, sees rigid processes and language barriers as the main obstacles. Filiz Keküllüoğlu, spokesperson for the Bunt-Grünnis Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN Berlin working group, also believes that entrenched structures are part of the problem. Structures can discriminate, even if this is not explicitly intended, which is why it is urgently necessary to take appropriate resources in hand to enable structural changes while keeping an eye on the potential for discrimination.

But how can we succeed in making our society and economy more diverse and promote diversity-conscious recruitment? Aynur Boldaz-Özdemir has been running Forever Clean for years and leads by example: her employees come from over 20 different cultures, 40 percent of whom have a disability, and they all work together successfully. This works because Boldaz-Özdemir and her entire team live inclusion and talk openly about it. For her, the most important factors in promoting diversity in business are time and opening up opportunities.

However, political framework conditions must also be created for this. Filiz Keküllüoğlu advocates an accelerated asylum procedure for refugees, easier family reunification and the provision of sufficient German courses and childcare. Another major area is adult education and vocational training. The state must create incentives so that companies give their employees the opportunity to develop and continue their education.

Elisabeth Niejahr, Managing Director of the "Strengthening Democracy" department at the Hertie Foundation, is already successfully implementing this topic by actively promoting training and awareness-raising in companies. The latest response to the issue is to strengthen tolerance, for example through training on hate speech and conspiracy myths. It is also important to make positive examples more visible. Those in positions of power should consciously use this tool and act as role models.

Conclusion of the talk: Society is changing - a fact that we should see as an enrichment. Of course, diversity management means work, change and a complex task of modernization, but it can succeed. A clear to-do for all entrepreneurs.


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