Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

Diversity in a world that’s worth living in

Companies benefit significantly from diversity in the workforce. We are convinced of this and promote diversity at VAUDE. Increasing the proportion of women in management positions is an important concern for us.

43.5 % of leadership positions filled by women

Diversity in our workforce and equal opportunities for all – regardless of arbitrary factors – are not only self-evident for us, but also a matter close to our hearts.

We are a socially responsible company and want to implement this conviction in our daily interactions. Diversity is an asset that we treasure! With our values, we make it clear what we stand for: "Making (y)our world a better place."

To date, this understanding has not been captured with the use of performance indicators, but we are enacting a variety of measures to underpin our commitment to social corporate leadership.

Over the last few years, we have focused on the issues of pay equity and the advancement of women and want to continue to actively and systematically establish a Diversity Management Program in the future.

Diversity boosts innovation

We are convinced that a workforce distinguished by diversity, in which everyone is respected and accepted, encourages innovation and creativity. As a European outdoor company in a dynamic and competitive market, innovation and creativity are particularly important in order to differentiate ourselves as a brand. We serve a diverse, international target group that covers a broad age range. Diversity in our workforce is a major advantage in meeting their wide variety of needs.

We have also taken this insight into account in the development of our new idea management system, "Steps". In this program, all employees can actively participate and exchange with others, from developing an idea, to working out the specifics until its implementation. See - "Time spent at work is also time spent living"

Furthermore, it is very important to us that our employees are motivated and enjoy working here. Unfair treatment – or even the subjective impression of unfair treatment – is an essential factor of employee demotivation. In 2015, we developed a process that enables all employees to nominate possible grievances. These are processed in confidentiality, with the involvement of external service providers when necessary, and in compliance with our corporate values. See "A foundation of trust"

As a company, our goal is to avoid barriers to motivation. We would rather create the ideal conditions for our employees to be intrinsically motivated and to develop their best performance. In a climate that encourages and respects diversity and equal opportunity, this can be very successful.

We also understand the active and intensive development of our culture of trust to be a means that supports us along this path. See "A foundation of trust"

Diversity in filling positions

Because of our social beliefs and values, but also in view of the foreseeable shortage of skilled labor, it is natural for us to choose our employees regardless of aspects such as age, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.

»Gender, skin color, ethnic origin and other diversity factors do not play a role in the VAUDE job appointment process.«

Christiane Schudy, referent human resources

Diversity factors such as gender, skin color, lifestyle or ethnic origin do not affect recruitment at VAUDE. Vacancies are advertised and filled in accordance with the Equal Treatment Act.

Lateral hires also welcome

As a company oriented toward sustainability and social activism, the ecological and civic involvement of our employees is at least as important as school grades or certificates.

Therefore, we advocate for offering attractive employment opportunities for lateral hires regardless of their origin, color or gender with equivalent qualifications and we recruit candidates as trainees, even when they do not have top school grades. 

We do not record data on minorities and other diversity factors separately. In 2015, we had 39 employees with non-German nationality, representing a share of employees with a non-German nationality of nearly 8%.

Targeted advancement of women

As family-friendly company, VAUDE specifically supports women on maternity leave so that they can quickly return to work. This explicitly includes women in management positions. With this in mind, we have defined a clear process that makes it possible for women in particular to do some of their work from home. With regular meetings for all employees on parental leave, we strive as a company to stay in contact with our colleagues and to strengthen their solidarity with VAUDE. See "Private and professional life: We make nearly everything possible!".

After parental leave, VAUDE tries hard to meet the interests of returnees. This is reflected, for example, in our high proportion of part-time employees, which was 37% in 2016.

»We want more women in management positions. Therefore, we are also supporting a gender quota for women on a political level.«

Antje von Dewitz, CEO

43.5 percent of management are women

Furthermore, it is a high concern for us to fill management positions with women. With Antje von Dewitz at the helm, we have a woman as CEO and in 2016, women held 20 of 46 management positions representing a rate of 43.5 %.

We are striving to continue to increase this rate – in 2016 we were successful compared to the previous year. We have nearly achieved a balance between women and men in management positions. These past years we set concrete goals for the first time: For our first management level we set a goal of increasing our percentage of women to 43%. 

In the second and third management levels, we set the goal of maintaining our percentage of women. Although the percentage of women in the second management levels sank, but it has increased significantly in the third level. We are pleased to have a very low turnover rate, which we would like to maintain. For this reason, we can only make substantial changes in the ratio of women in management over the long term.

Composition of Employees

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Number of male and female employees by employee category **:

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** Our CEO is also a Division Head for Marketing and Communication.

Fair wages for women and men

The VAUDE Payroll System forms the foundation for fair wages - independent of gender or other arbitrary factors.

The goal of the VAUDE payroll systems is to reward comparable activities equally and non-comparable activities at different levels.

As a foundation of the payroll system, all positions in the company were evaluated using a point-based system and divided into different functional levels. For each of these functional levels, compensation ranges were defined.

As a further measure, we decided to introduce a minimum wage and implemented this in 2014. This is above the statutory minimum wage introduced in Germany in 2015.

Beyond this, VAUDE offers a set of non-monetary additional benefits such as an e-bike rental option, approximately 400 sports courses per year within our Company Health Management System, product awards for employees and the option to lease a bike at a discount with “JobRad".

Transparency with wage ranges

The respective compensation value of each employee within a functional level is based on various aspects such as performance, seniority and experience. We publish the functional level and wage ranges on our Intranet in order to increase the transparency of our salary structures.

Equal pay for women and men

We have planned to expand the salary comparison between women and men to the entire company. We have nearly reached this goal. We successfully compared 9 of 12 functional levels. A first analysis shows that majority of the disclosed wage differences can be attributed to the length of service in the company. Based on the transparency we’ve created, it will now be possible to make wage comparisons transparent and to monitor it at regular intervals.


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** functional level

Commitment and cooperation with refugees

In addition to numerous fundraising activities, VAUDE formed an assistance committee in 2015 of employees from a wide diversity of company divisions in order to sound out how VAUDE as a company can become involved. In 2016 we achieved a great deal.

Supporting people with disabilities

In the future, we plan to reflect our social orientation even more by filling certain positions with people with disabilities within a specifically designed program that will be gradually implemented over the next three years.

During the reporting period, we employed three people with a status of “severely handicapped” – two men and one woman. One of these was a trainee – which corresponds to a percentage of 0.76% (2015: 0.6%) 

In the past two years, we had set ourselves the goal of improving job opportunities for people with disabilities and/or hiring more people with disabilities at VAUDE. We have only partially reached this goal. The utilization of parental leave by the responsible employee, as well as the high dynamic and broad range of issues were responsible. In 2017 we will address this issue holistically.

Cooperation with facilities for people with disabilities

To achieve the goal of offering more people with disabilities an attractive employment opportunity, we will, as soon as possible, make and expand our contacts with local institutions for the disabled as well as with integration services.

In addition, we will take a good look at which company divisions have positions that can be filled by people with disabilities and which tasks are particularly suitable for them. This applies to both permanent employment opportunities as well as internships. This also includes defining adapted processes in the filling of positions that allow for inclusion.

GRI:   G4-LA13
Ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men by employee category, by significant locations of operations
GRI:   G4-LA12
Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per employee Category according to gender, age group, minority group membership, and other Indicators of diversity
GRI:   G4-HR3
Total number of incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken
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