1. July 2022

Diversity – all equally different?!

Stroer is a media partner of the Berlin CSD | Berlin Pride 2022 and sponsors advertising space in Berlin and ensures visibility in the city. Here is a commentary by Birgit Oßendorf-Will, HR Director, Ströer SE & Co. KGaA

Diversity has been on everyone’s lips in recent years, yet it is not a fashionable topic. Diversity is a social reality. No society in the world is one-dimensional. Rather, it is shaped by criteria such as old and young, different genders, different ethnic origins, religions and languages, different sexual orientations, or a whole range of talents and disabilities. Still, some may wonder, “What’s the point of diversity? I don’t really give that much thought to it.” No two people are alike. We are all unique, diverse and different. And that’s the great thing about it! I think it’s important to recognize this fact as an added value. We encounter diversity everywhere and every day. If we go through the world with open eyes and ears and learn to recognize and appreciate this diversity, we become richer every day. Richer in impressions, experiences and adventures! At the same time, this helps us to overcome reservations, because the diversity of those involved and their different life experiences bring new perspectives into our own lives. And not only in our private lives, but also in our professional lives.

At Ströer, we love and live diversity. Our company employs people from over 90 nations with different skills, different origins and cultural backgrounds, people with diverse sexual orientations and in all age groups. Diversity is a source of ideas and the building block for the company’s sustainable growth; last but not least, diversity is also a reflection of customers and society. In 2021, Ströer signed the “Diversity Charter”, one of the largest initiatives in Germany to promote diversity in the world of work. By signing, Ströer undertakes to promote a diverse working environment and to report on corresponding progress. In addition, we use the German “Diversity Day” on the one hand to inform the public about this important topic via our media in the public sphere with a wide reach and on the other hand to discuss it with employees, to dispel reservations and to raise awareness and respect for language as well as attitude. In my view, respect is the key to successful cooperation. For more inspiration and success – because people count.

As patron of the “Welcoming Out” initiative, Ströer also wants to help make it easier for LGBTIQ+ people to come out and show them that they are welcome in our society and that Ströer welcomes them.

Networks connect people with each other and create space for them to exchange ideas and grow together. For this reason, we also launched the LGBTQ+ network LOUT in the company. The name is derived from two English terms. On the one hand, loud stands for the importance of raising one’s voice against intolerance and discrimination and generating attention for the issue. On the other hand, it refers to the word out: Outing means to publicly acknowledge one’s sexuality or identity. LOUT is intended to offer colleagues the opportunity to discuss the topic in a professional context, to network, to get involved in projects and to show their support. Among other things, there are regular meetings in which everyone can participate anonymously or by name. The program includes exciting guest lectures and open discussions. But the rule is: Everything can, nothing must. Because in the end, all participants should decide together how they want to shape the network, the togetherness and the content.

Diversity has long been a matter of course for us, because a variety of perspectives and opinions enriches the company and ensures better interaction and greater understanding of one another. If we listen to each other, pay attention to what we have in common and consciously experience what else is possible, together we will become an even better and more successful organization. Our world is colorful and diverse – and that’s how we want to be! Because tolerance, progressiveness and openness are the prerequisites for our future viability.