Welcome to the first installment in the ongoing Local Diversity and Inclusion Spotlight series. In these monthly blog posts, we’ll be exploring how various countries around the world address diversity and inclusion in their culture and workplace. Our spotlight for August? The country of Germany, an economic powerhouse in central Europe.
Here are five things to know about diversity and inclusion in Germany:
There are progressive rights for LGBT+ individuals in Germany, including same-sex marriage.
Germany has progressive rights for same-sex couples. Same-sex sexual activities are legal in Germany, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal. Same-sex couples can legally register their partnership as life partnership. This status contains rights and obligations regarding name change, inheritance law, tax equality, alimony, health insurance, and stepchild adoption. Same-sex marriage was signed into law in 2017.
Workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal throughout Germany.
Over the years, Germany’s government has put in place strong protections for employees that organizations must abide by. These laws against workplace discrimination are upheld throughout society.
German women are well represented in the workforce and may even outnumber men in professional and technical positions.
However, although much progress has been made, there is still a wage gap between the genders. Also, women are still outnumbered by male counterparts in higher-level management positions even though their numbers are growing. The bottom line? Although women have not achieved parity with their male counterparts, foreign businessmen should treat female colleagues in the same way that they treat male colleagues.
It is against the law to ask female job candidates about pregnancy or plans for starting a family.
Businesswomen may face the assumption that their careers will take a lower priority than their home lives, and in fact, many women with young children do seek part-time work. It has been observed that German recruiters, although not allowed to ask directly, may try to find out female candidates’ plans for pregnancy and childbirth.
On the 2020 Gender Gap Index, Germany ranked 10 out of the 153 countries listed.
According to the Gender Gap Index compiled by the World Economic Forum in 2020, Germany received a score of 0.787 on a scale of 0 to 1 (where “1” defines a country with complete gender equality; for context, view this graph of the top 10 countries worldwide, where Germany is ranked 10th overall). The index measures the gender gap in four areas: economic participation, educational attainment, political empowerment, and health. Germany elected its first female chancellor, Angela Merkel, in 2005.
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