DEI 2021

Diversity under a single brand

At Körber, we want to be the first choice for everyone who works with us already today and in the future. That’s why our entrepreneurial diversity is also reflected in our employees.

10,000 employees at over 100 locations

Today more than 10,000 employees work for the Körber Group at more than 100 different locations worldwide in five Business Areas. In the course of our history of almost 76 years, new industries, new countries, and other cultures have been added through acquisitions, partnerships, and mergers.  

At Körber, we are diverse in our entrepreneurial orientation and the industries in which we are active, but that’s not all. We also offer professional and personal development opportunities for people of various nationalities, ages, and genders, who have different personalities, skills, and life models. That’s because the society in which we operate as a Group is equally diverse, colorful, and multicultural. This is also reflected in our working environment.  

We are creating the conditions for an inclusive culture in which people work together effectively. The topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion are an essential part of our human resources management and all of our recruitment and training measures. Among other things, our leadership training promotes mindful communication between people and provides support for appreciative leadership and conflict management. 

We are the home for entrepreneurs — a place for innovative people who have a “start-up gene.” We put inventions into practice and inspire our customers through pioneering technologies. But we are much more than that. At Körber we offer professional development opportunities for people who contribute creative ideas and act entrepreneurially. We offer these opportunities regardless of the employees’ ethnic and social background, physical or psychosocial impairments, religious persuasion or sexual orientation. 

Why does this work? Because employees, managers, customers, and business partners know that acting independently, confidently, and reliably also means taking on social responsibility. Thus there is no room for a silo mentality at Körber. The traditional work structure is also obsolete. In order to be flexible and agile, we are increasingly relying on individually combinable networks of people with different talents.  

At Körber we promote entrepreneurship and the potential of our employees. That’s why we count on people who stay curious and take lifelong learning for granted. As a company, we want to inspire these talented individuals’ enthusiasm and loyalty. Our goal is to make Körber better known as a fair and attractive employer. We operate according to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. At our company, every employee is heard and can get involved.  

We have also enshrined all of these factors in our leadership principles for the Körber Group. They are an essential basis for responsible and diverse interaction that is based on trust.

On course to becoming a (more) attractive employer

In order to attract and retain the best talent, we at Körber want to act transparently, flexibly, and inclusively. We are proceeding in an entrepreneurial and socially responsible manner. Through these and many other measures, we are pursuing our goal of attracting potential future employees and retaining existing ones. 

At Körber we are taking on the economic, environmental, and social challenges that face us, and we already began our transformation many years ago. When a company changes, the demands placed on the managers of its employees also change automatically. We have summarized our leadership principles as follows: 

>> We are entrepreneurs. 
>> We achieve results. 
>> We demonstrate trust. 
>> We enable and empower. 
>> We celebrate diverse perspectives.  

The first global 24-hour Körber Career Day offered potential applicants a chance to find out more about career opportunities at Körber worldwide. During this 24-hour career event, employees from different cultures and four time zones introduced themselves and their diverse tasks. They provided online insights into our Business Areas from almost all our locations, reported on their experiences, and answered questions from the participants in virtual discussion panels. Trainees, students, and experienced professionals were also able to talk in person with managers, HR colleagues, and recruiters for individual departments. The public, virtual 24-hour Körber Career Day thrilled young professionals, experienced specialists, and career changers. 

In our first mentoring pilot program, we enable our employees to benefit from the experiences and the different perspective of a colleague for a year. When we put together the two-person teams, we made sure that mentors and mentees had as little in common as possible — because in our opinion, this is exactly what promotes interdisciplinary and diverse collaboration across existing or perceived hierarchies, functions, and geographic locations. We also considered it important to have a balanced ratio between female and male participants. The mentoring program is based on regular meetings of the two-person teams and recurring joint training sessions for all the program participants. 

At the start of the group-wide initiative on diversity, equity, and inclusion at Körber, four working groups with different focus areas were set up. The “Gender” group is about promoting people of all genders and gender identities and actively demanding their equality in private life and at work. In addition, the “LGBTQIA+” group works to ensure that people can openly engage in their particular way of life. The “Inclusion” group deals with the recognition and self-determination of people with physical or psychosocial impairments and people with learning difficulties. The “Culture, Nationality, Skin Color, Ethnicity” group has set itself the task of making the advantages and potential of cultural diversity more tangible in daily work and promoting the sharing of ideas about these advantages within the Group.

At our Körber Campus in Pécs, Hungary, we are also actively working to get more women interested in IT and engineering professions. We are the sponsor and one of the organizers of a nationwide official TechGirls roadshow. Objective: Getting secondary school girls interested in careers in engineering, math, and science. At the Körber Campus in Pécs, nine of the 39 IT employees are women. The proportion of women in the entire workforce at our location in Hungary is currently around ten percent. 

Replies: What our employees have to say about working at Körber

We believe in diversity! We rely on people who want to achieve something together and appreciate the open and trustful interaction at Körber.  

As part of our LinkedIn Career Pioneers initiative, many employees from the Group report on what makes working at Körber so special for them. 

We asked some of these Career Pioneers to come in front of the camera again in order to report on their impressions and experiences.   

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13
teams of two share their perspectives and experiences in the mentoring program
40
Percent more applications were received directly as a result of our first global 24-hour Körber Career Day
14
Percent¹ of the people in management positions in 2021 were women

¹ Excluding temporary workers and taking into account 30 companies that are connected to success factors and represent approximately 62.9% of our employees

“Hierarchical ways of thinking have been increasingly dissolving at our company for a long time”

Gabriele Fanta, Head of Group Human Resources, talks about leadership and diversity, recruiting more female talent, and attempts to eliminate stereotypes in job interviews. 

Gabriele Fanta has headed the Human Resources department of the international technology group since December 2020. She is responsible for global HR management at Körber, including recruiting, employee development and employer branding. 

Ms. Fanta, Körber wants to be a fair and attractive employer. What are you doing in this regard? 
We are still quite young as an employer brand. About two years ago we started to unite our numerous companies from different industries under the common brand “Körber.” From September, the Business Area Tobacco will also operate under the Körber brand. At the moment it still appears on the market as “Hauni.” As “Körber” we can more effectively show the public who we are and what we stand for.

How are you doing this?
An important boost was our first global 24-hour, virtual Körber Career Day last year. We started early in the morning in Asia and followed the sun across the globe, ending back in Europe the next morning. Prospective applicants could follow our online program around the clock and get to know all facets of the Körber Group. Two hundred colleagues were involved worldwide, both in the background during the preparations and actively in front of the camera, as they presented themselves, their jobs, and their locations by means of virtual tours and videos. This clearly showed the great diversity of the people who work with us at Körber. 

How did people respond to the format?
It was fantastic! There was consistently positive feedback from the participants and also from our colleagues who took part. The number of applications rose by around 40 percent immediately after the event. 

For applicants as well as long-serving employees, diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI for short, are central topics in the professional environment. How is Körber positioned in this regard? 
Diversity can’t be decreed. It has to evolve within the company. Körber has the ideal conditions for that to happen. We have steadily grown internationally, and as a globally operating group we unite numerous nationalities and ethnic groups within the company. For us it’s quite normal to be a multicultural organization and to respect our differences. In terms of age, we’ve got all of the working-age generations here. 

What about gender identity and sexual orientation?
Neither one plays a role in our recruitment and development activities. In other words, we don’t want to label anyone as only a woman, a manager, an employee with a migration background or a homosexual employee. That’s why our recruiters receive “unconscious bias” trainings, where they learn to question their own perceptions and to avoid thinking in stereotypes in job interviews. Our employees are recognized for what they achieve and what they stand for. That is our principle. External or personal characteristics play no role in our working environment.  

Where does Körber stand in terms of inclusion? 
Inclusion is about integrating people with mental or physical impairments into daily work processes. And we’re on the right track here. In the future we will work more closely with the German Federal Employment Agency. First of all, it’s important to find out whether there are people at our organization who have an impairment but don't dare to make it public. An impairment is not always a visible disability, for example in the case of our deaf trainees. Many people have mental disabilities or physical impairments that are not immediately visible. Of course we also want to integrate these people as well as possible. Together with the German Federal Employment Agency, we want to find out which jobs and profiles we can offer to them at Körber. 

What makes Körber special as an employer?
We communicate openly with one another. No supervisor or board member hides in a closed-off area or even on a separate floor. All employees can engage in a dialog with managers and board members at any time. The contact details are visible to all, and everyone can be reached directly via numerous channels. This opportunity is used frequently. In our daily interactions, hierarchical communication structures have long since dissolved.   

Where is there still room for improvement?
One of our major goals is to increase the proportion of female managers.
This is currently 14.3 percent. If you consider that women make up 19.7 percent of our employees, that’s not so bad. However, it is and will continue to be an adjustable target, because not every female employee wants to be a manager. The relevant factors include experience, a certain level of maturity and, last but not least, the number of working hours that are required. Leading a larger team part-time can be difficult. Of course we are experimenting with job sharing in such areas as well. One positive effect of the corona pandemic for our company is that some of our part-time female employees have increased their hours, because there’s no longer any commuting when you work from home. Besides, all of us have now learned how to do management work remotely. That can be a great opportunity for talented women and men who want to, or have to, take care of family members.

Why is that, and what changes do you want to make?
In mechanical and plant engineering as well as in digital and technology companies, the number of female employees is unfortunately much lower than in other sectors of industry. This could be changed if many more women were trained in technical and digital professions, and if these women apply for vacancies in our organization. I advertise this wherever I can — #female talents welcome. And maybe companies that are more technology-oriented offer an environment with more opportunities, precisely because they have fewer women employees.

However, diversity is not limited to female or male colleagues...
You’re absolutely right. I actually have a holistic understanding of diversity — and that also applies to Körber as a whole. It starts with people’s ethnic background and goes all the way to methods and working times that can be designed individually and flexibly wherever possible. We consider it important to lead mixed teams successfully, whether online or offline. It’s basically a question of achieving very good results efficiently, regardless of where the employees come from, how old they are, who they love or where they work. In this regard we’re on the right track in all of our Business Areas. We are in the middle of a comprehensive transformation, and it’s far from over. 

Learn more about our path
to more sustainability:


energy_savings_leaf
We reduce our energy consumption and become CO₂-neutral by 2025.
to environment
people
We are a fair and attractive employer.
to social
hub
We have responsibly organized supply chains.
to governance

Körber Sustainability Report 2021

All information at a glance: Download the Körber Group Sustainability Report as a PDF here.

Download PDF file (11 MB)

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