30 May 2017

Diversity matters - Get to Know Why

#DiversityDay: Meet colleagues who contribute to the diversity of METRO

Diversity matters. Under this motto we will meet colleagues who contribute to the diversity of METRO during the week of the Diversity Day in Germany 30th of May, 2017.

Shaking hands for diversity

The series kicks off with Heiko Hutmacher, Chief Human Resources Officer of METRO AG, and Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG. In their functions, both have many contact points with the topic of Diversity. METRO itself is a founding member of the German association Charta der Vielfalt, an initiative that advocates equal opportunities for employees.

"For us, diversity across in its different dimensions and expressions is a key factor for economic success and performance. Whether a diverse workforce at all hierarchy levels of the group, women in leadership positions, the topic of Inclusion or employee networks – we promote and support our employees wherever we can", says Heiko Hutmacher, Chief Human Resources Officer of METRO AG.


"What we want to achieve is that our employees become fully involved in the company and contribute their different experiences and points of view to the company’s projects", continues Hutmacher. This is also demonstrated by the launch of the LGBT+ network "MPride" which was inspired by Heiko Hutmacher. LGBT+ is the English acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender where the + represents a wide range of other gender and sexual minorities.

In a seminar for employees, Hutmacher addressed the topic of sexual orientation and asked whom employees could turn to if they had any questions around the topic of LGBT+. Seminar participants picked up the idea directly after the seminar, discussed it with the CHRO and put it into action. The MPride network was created. Hutmacher acted as a sponsor and first ambassador of this community. "The LGBT+ community often has a particularly hard time. We would like to create optimal conditions for each individual employee. That is why we introduced the ambassador system for MPride to attract more attention to this issue. Our managers and executives are strongly committed to this cause because you don’t need to be LGBT+ to support the network," says Hutmacher.


Hutmacher Diversity Quote

METRO AG is actively campaigning for Diversity within and also outside of the group. In October 2016, Veronika Pountcheva accepted a board position in the association Charta of Diversity in Germany, a corporate initiative to promote diversity in companies and institutions under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The association wants to advance the recognition, appreciation and inclusion of Diversity in German corporate culture.

"With employees from some 160 countries, Diversity is a key issue for us at METRO", explains Veronika Pountcheva and explains why she, personally, combines many aspects of the Diversity concept: "Over the past 19 years, my professional career has allowed me to meet a multitude of people. Different people of all ages, from different countries, regions and cultures. This diversity has been, and continues to be, a personal enrichment for me. It is a driving force of my professional growth and broadens my horizons." In her contacts with colleagues who are at the very beginning of their careers and with those who have already worked at METRO for 40 years, Pountcheva time and again comes across exciting new opportunities resulting from the different viewpoints and the diverse needs and demands. "My passion for this topic has not only taken me to the board of the association Charta der Vielfalt. I am also an advisory member of the women’s network LEAD and an ambassador for MPride. All these networks offer great opportunities for promoting Diversity and for advancing the dialogue about these topics."


Pountcheva Diversity Quote

This week every day METRO AG is presenting different experiences and perspectives why diversity matters in METRO AG. Enjoy live-interviews and statements on our corporate websites and send us your comments via Twitter @METRO_EU and @METRO_News. #DiversityDay



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