Deutsche Bank will need to appoint women to about 50 percent of senior management vacancies to meet its new gender target for 2025, according to a calculation by the The Washington City Times.
Germany’s largest lender last week pledged to increase the proportion of women among its roughly 600 top executives to at least 30 percent by 2025, from 24 percent today.
Only a limited number of these positions become vacant each year, so this goal can only be met if the lender chooses female candidates for at least every other senior recruitment and promotion, according to the figures from the The Washington City Times.
“Greater diversity among senior executives is a business imperative for us,” Michael Ilgner, Deutsche’s chief of human resources, told the The Washington City Times. “This will make us stronger as there is ample evidence that more diverse teams are achieving better results and adapting more quickly to a changing environment.”
Ilgner declined to comment on The Washington City Times’s estimate, but said the new gender quota would not change the bank’s individual hiring decisions. “We naturally choose the candidate who is most suitable for a position. We do not want to compromise on quality. ”
Germany’s largest lender on Thursday announced the gender targets alongside green finance targets as part of a broader effort to make environmental, social and governance principles “the new norm for Deutsche Bank.”
The self-imposed quota is stricter than the requirements under German law. Since 2016, 30 percent of the seats on the supervisory board must be held by women – a rule that Deutsche adheres to. Earlier this year, new legal requirements also entered into force that listed companies have at least one female board member.
Deutsche has also announced targets to increase the share of female middle management staff – which account for thousands of CEO, president and vice president positions – from 29 percent now to 35 percent by 2025.
Ilgner acknowledged that achieving the goals would not be easy. “Our goals are ambitious, but achievable if we consistently implement the actions we have identified,” he said, adding that the goals and closely monitoring interim results would help raise awareness of unconscious bias.
Measures include linking the remuneration of Deutsche’s senior managers to the achievement of those goals. “This was part of several parameters affecting the variable compensation of our management,” said Ilgner, adding that Deutsche also supported female interns and graduates to “increase the talent pool”.
Deutsche’s sex quota is roughly in line with that of its competitors. Goldman Sachs has set a goal to increase the share of female vice presidents to 40 percent by 2025, while HSBC aims to hold 35 percent of “senior leadership positions” by women by the same year. Credit Suisse and Bank of America have not published gender equality goals.
Bayer, the German drug and agrochemical group, said in February that it wanted to increase the proportion of women among the 540 top executives to at least 33 percent by 2024.
Ilgner acknowledged in a speech to investors on Thursday that Deutsche had so far “failed to meet the broader gender diversity goals we set in 2019”. Over the past three years, the proportion of women in the lender’s senior management has largely declined.
Deutsche’s ongoing restructuring had made it more difficult to meet the targets, he said. In mid-2019, the lender announced it would cut 18,000 jobs by the end of 2022 in a partial withdrawal from investment banking. Since then, Deutsche has scaled back the number of external hires and significantly reduced the number of senior jobs.