Diversity management

METRO GROUP is one of the leading international retail and wholesale companies. Our employees are just as diverse as our customers, stores and suppliers. During the reporting year, people from 170 countries worked for METRO GROUP. In management levels 1 to 3 – that is, Management Board/General Management, divisional management, main departmental or departmental management and store management – managers from 56 countries work for our company. The average age of our workforce was 38.3 years (9M 2012: 38.0 years). At the same time, we also open the way for older employees to rejoin the working world. During the reporting period, METRO GROUP hired 382 full-time equivalents (9M 2012: 439) in the age group of 50 plus. Internationally, the total was 659 (9M 2012: 647) employees. The share of members of the workforce in this age group totalled 19.1 per cent (9M 2012: 18.1 per cent). In Germany, they made up 33.3 per cent of the workforce (9M 2012: 30.3 per cent).

During the reporting year, we also employed 5,884 people with recognised severe disabilities or the equivalent in Germany. As a result, the quota exceeds the minimum legal requirement of 5 per cent. Our company also works to support the long-term provision of training positions for people with disabilities: in one reflection of this effort, our sales lines began in 2007 to promote the project Integrated Training with Vocational Education Centres organised by the German Association of Vocational Education Centres. This programme makes it possible for young people with disabilities to receive occupational training.

In 2013, our Galeria Kaufhof sales line also joined the “InkA – Inklusive Ausbildung”, a programme initiated by UnternehmensForum to assist people with disabilities. The aim of the initiative is to create 20 additional training slots for young people with severe disabilities among all participating companies for both of the training years 2013 and 2014.

Real has also directed its attention towards young people who were unable to quickly find a training position in the labour market or who are not fully prepared to assume such a position, have learning difficulties or are underprivileged. Our sales line gives them an opportunity to take part in a company job-entry qualification programme. This is a national occupational orientation programme in Germany that is part of the National Pact for Career Training and skilled Manpower Development. It was initiated by the German Employment Agency in conjunction with the business community, chambers of industry and commerce, and chambers of skilled crafts. Over a period of six to 12 months, the young people are introduced to a training occupation, a company and the working world. The initial qualification programme serves as a door opener for a training position or job. During the reporting period, more than 70 young people at Real took part in the programme. About 50 per cent began an apprenticeship position after completing the programme.

METRO GROUP is clearly committed to the goal of further increasing the diversity of the company’s workforce. As early as 2007, we signed the so-called “Charter of Diversity” – one of Germany’s most widely supported initiatives on this issue with more than 1,600 backers. Last year, we joined the association that goes by the same name. In January 2013, METRO GROUP, together with four other companies and institutions, began to be represented on the board of directors of “Charta der Vielfalt e. V.”. We intend to be a role model for diversity management, to attract attention to the importance of this issue and win over further supporters.

Equal opportunities

As part of our diversity management, we promote the equal professional opportunities of men and women. Together with other listed German companies, METRO GROUP has made a voluntary pledge to increase the number of women in management levels 1 to 3. We aim to reach a share of 20 per cent by the end of 2013. The share of women in management positions is to reach 25 per cent by the end of 2015. We will keep these goals in mind while conducting recruiting activities and succession planning.

The share of women in the entire workforce was 55.0 per cent during the reporting period (9M 2012: 55.3 per cent). In management positions in the levels 1 to 3, 18.5 per cent of managers were female (9M 2012: 19.6 per cent). This decline resulted from the divestment of Real’s business in Eastern Europe. The share of women in management positions in the region exceeded the average in the entire company.

During the reporting period, two employee initiatives set up in 2012 to address the issues of “women” and “gender” were merged into the joint Women in Trade (WiT) network. The network is open to interested individuals of both genders and is designed to sustainably encourage women and help them grow professionally at METRO GROUP. The network intends to help to raise the share of women in management positions over the long term, promote an internal and external dialogue about relevant issues and to create better working conditions for women in the company through discussion. WiT fosters the internal networking of employees by setting the agenda, developing target-group-specific formats and creating a mentoring programme. The network is international and is aimed at colleagues in all countries.

Work-life balance

To make METRO GROUP more diverse, programmes to improve employees’ work-life balance are essential.

Since February 2012, our headquarters in Düsseldorf has been providing three day-care centres with 238 full-time slots for children ranging from four months old to the starting age for school. One special feature of “METRO-Sternchen” is its bilingual concept: the staff speak German and English to the children. During the reporting period, we again offered a holiday childcare programme at our company headquarters. More than 106 children of employees took part.

The share of part-time employees at METRO GROUP dipped to 27.9 per cent compared with the previous year’s period (9M 2012: 27.5 per cent). In Germany, 44.6 per cent of our staff work part time (9M 2012: 44.3 per cent).

As a company, we believe that it is critically important to draw on the potential of our experienced older employees. To help older employees make the transition to retirement, our Galeria Kaufhof sales line worked with the “Centrum zur nachberuflichen Orientierung Ceno e.V.” (centre for post-occupational orientation) in Cologne to launch a pilot project at the beginning of 2013. Over the course of an event, the collaboration partners informed employees in the headquarters in Cologne and in the outlet in Cologne-Nippes about ways to use and share their professional experience in volunteer positions.

In July 2013, the headquarters of Media-Saturn was honoured for the second time as a family-friendly company as part of the audit “berufundfamilie” (career and family) sponsored by the charitable Hertie Foundation. The company was recognised initially in 2010.