Rheinmetall employees identify with a distinctive corporate culture that focuses on trust, professional performance, initiative, self-responsibility, shared values and mutual understanding, and work together in partnership across functional, divisional and national boundaries. The international nature of our business activities means that people from many countries, cultures, religions and ways of life are employed in our company. They shape not only the profile, the reputation and the distinctiveness of our company, it is also they who meet the diverse requirements of our customers, investors, suppliers and other stakeholders in their day-to-day professional lives. We view our employees’ diversity as a strategic factor for success. They make us attractive to customers and applicants. There is great potential for further growth by the Rheinmetall Group in this diversity and the opportunity to attract and retain the best talents. With locations on six continents, supply relationships in 146 countries in 2017, 11,928 employees abroad, 75 expatriates and 70 nationalities represented at Rheinmetall in Germany, internationality and diversity have long been routine in the Rheinmetall Group and are key factors in why we remain successful together in our global business activities despite all dissimilarities.
Diversity is to be strengthened in the companies of the Rheinmetall Group in the next few years. In an initial step, the Executive Board of Rheinmetall Automotive established a new “Diversity Management” function, which is simultaneously responsible for Rheinmetall Defence. The divisional management will be supported by Diversity Officers from the six divisions. Appropriate participation of women in management is one of the focal points of diversity activities.
A Diversity Guideline was also adopted for the Rheinmetall Group in April 2017. In the principles of social responsibility negotiated with the European Works Council in 2017, the parties stress the importance of human and cultural diversity for working together, for an inclusive and respectful corporate culture and for being tolerant in dealing with each other. By Rheinmetall joining Charta der Vielfalt e.V. in April 2017, we emphasize that diversity is not an end in itself for us but an element to boost our capacity for innovation and capacity for internationalization.
Women in managerial positions
The Defence and Automotive sectors have traditionally been dominated by men, who predominantly tend to choose technical or scientific subjects for study and professional training. The automotive and defence industries are generally favored by men. For these reasons, the percentage of women occupying management positions in our technology group is lower than in other industries.
The Rheinmetall Group understands the employment of women, in management positions in particular, as self-evident, but also as an important and material part of its diversity and sees this as an opportunity for development. Women in executive management and other management roles are to be encouraged more in the future. When filling vacant positions, internal candidates are to be chosen primarily if possible. Experience shows that these people work longer and more successfully for the Rheinmetall Group on average and consequently turnover in management positions and the temporary disruption associated therewith can be avoided. Suitable women are, therefore, to be prepared increasingly for management responsibilities via the internal support and development programs for junior staff in the medium and long term.
At the same time, the internal management development programs will set the respective line managers ambitious targets for the participation of suitable women in these programs. However, notwithstanding this, vacant positions must continue to be filled by the most qualified candidate, professionally and personally speaking, regardless of gender. It is also in the company’s interest to ensure continuity in terms of staffing in key positions in the most senior management.
There were 7.6 million severely disabled people living in Germany at the end of 2015. They therefore represent 9.3% of the total population. Inclusion in the labor market is making progress thanks to the large number of initiatives and measures adopted in recent years. Today, around 1.2 million employees with severe disabilities work in German companies, more than ever before. We also consciously encourage the participation of disabled people in working life and create the conditions needed for this purpose. As long ago as 2002, we formulated key principles and inclusion targets with the Group representative body for severely disabled employees in a framework integration agreement.
Rheinmetall employees with disabilities or health problems are integrated into the working life of the company and are able to bring their skills and ideas to the table. Once again, the focus here is on developing existing strengths and potential. An important prerequisite for this is workstations individually adapted to the type and degree of disability, which allow the employees concerned to achieve work of the same quality as that of colleagues without disabilities. In 2017, the German-based Rheinmetall Group companies employed 457 severely disabled people, who are represented by the Group representative body for severely disabled employees.
In November 2017 an action plan for people with disabilities and an accompanying training plan was presented for the first time, with which the development of standards tailored to the requirements of the disabled are to be encouraged and legal and operational requirements are to be implemented with the same success at all Rheinmetall Group sites, so that a positive contribution is made to the equal treatment of all disabled employees in the Group is made.