Search Report
2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

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. People with different backgrounds and strengths should be able to develop their potential with us in the best possible way.

We have worked hard on diversity at VAUDE:

  • Participation in German Diversity Day with a VAUDE event 
  • Regular contributions on the social intranet to diverse lifestyles and work models
  • Workshop day with top management on "Age in VAUDE's Strategy”
  • High attention to fair consideration of diversity factors in hiring processes and salary determination
  • Commitment to employees who are foreigners or refugees

Want to know what's behind it?

We value all perspectives and talents

A colorful mixture of employees and equal opportunities for all is something that is close to our hearts – and, in our opinion, should be self-evident. Our values clearly state what we stand for: "Making (y)our world a better place." With this in mind, it is our aspiration to giver fair consideration to our employees, above all with regard to age, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities, ethnicity, religion and ideology, but also in terms of marital status and personal preferences.

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. As a signee of the Charta für Vielfalt we are specifically committed to anchoring a deep understanding of the valuable diversity of colleagues throughout our workforce with measures such as an annual “Day of Action.”

As in previous years, our focus in 2017 was on equality between men and women. In addition, we have paid even greater attention to the needs of different age groups / generational difference of our employees. Our high level of commitment continued to be to seen in our Employees and applicants with a refugee background.

Diversity boosts innovation and employee satisfaction

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 across a wide age range. Diversity in our workforce is a major advantage in meeting the wide variety of needs of this group.

We have also taken these findings into account in the development of our interactive idea management system "Steps". All employees can participate actively and in exchange with others, from the development of an idea to its implementation. See -Time spent at work is time spent living

»I believe that a diverse workforce is more capable of promoting creativity and, above all, innovation than one that is largely homogeneous.«

Antje von Dewitz, CEO

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. 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, skin color or nationality. Vacancies at VAUDE are advertised and filled in accordance with the General Equal Treatment Act.

»It is important to us to perceive people holistically in the selection process, instead of being guided by certain patterns.«

Christiane Schudy, referent human resources

We also make conscious use of the different perspectives of the people involved in selection decisions. In addition to human resources and the direct manager of the position to be filled, other people are often involved, e.g. future team colleagues. Especially when filling management positions, it is important to us that the future directly managed employees get to know the applicants and include their assessment in the evaluation. The support of employees and colleagues, which a new manager experiences right from the start, is an important success factor for a successful cooperation.

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.

In this sense, we also offer attractive employment opportunities to lateral hires who have the appropriate personal and methodological skills.

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 also Balancing professional and private life is important to us.

After parental leave, VAUDE tries hard to meet the interests of returnees. This has an impact, for example, on our high proportion of part-time employees, which was a good 45 % in 2017.

43 percent of management are women

It is also important to us to fill management positions with women. With Antje von Dewitz at the helm, we have a woman as CEO and in 2017, women held 20 of 47 management positions representing a rate of 43 %. It is desirable for us to achieve parity between women and men in particularly responsible positions such as management positions.

Especially at VAUDE's top management level, we are sticking to our medium-term goal of further increasing the proportion of women from the current 33 %. In the second management level, there is still the greatest need for development in terms of the proportion of women, which currently stands at 24 %. To this end, it has increased further at the third management level - 58 % of our team leaders are women.

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.

Number of male and female employees in management committees or by employee category**:

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

Transparent and fair wages for everyone

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

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

However, this leaves room for salary differences, e.g. due to individual work experience and performance. We publish the functional levels and compensation ranges on the intranet to increase the transparency of our wage structures.

In addition, our salary system defines an internal minimum wage for permanent employees that is above the statutory minimum wage.

VAUDE also offers a range of discounts and additional services, such as e-bike rental, free sports courses as part of the corporate Health Management System special employee prices for VAUDE products and the option to lease a bike at a discount with "Jobrad".

An indication of the appropriateness and fairness of the salary policy at VAUDE is also provided by the consideration of the salary spread. The ratio between the highest salary and the lowest salary at VAUDE is 8.51, which we consider to be exemplary in comparison with known case studies from the economy. Interns, trainees and part-time employees are excluded from our calculation.

Equal pay for women and men

When measuring the salaries of new employees and adjusting the salaries of existing employees, the human resources department and management pay close attention to fairness and non-discrimination, including comparisons between employees in similar positions. Differences in salary are due to and can be explained by the qualifications, performance and professional experience of the employees concerned.

We regularly review wage distribution and monitor emerging imbalances as part of our personnel budget process. It goes without saying that our employees can participate in the Wage Transparency Act and receive information on how their own wages are classified in relation to their peer group in the personnel area.

A recent analysis of salaries in the functional spectrum between specialists and department heads repeatedly confirmed that the salaries of women and men are equally high on average. Occasionally, higher average values for women or men can be observed at certain functional levels. These differences balance each other out. They mainly result from the length of active service with the company of the respective employees.

Intergenerational cooperation

From "Baby Boomers" to "Generation Z" – up to four generations and correspondingly different age groups work together at VAUDE. Empathy for different attitudes and needs that come with it, and flexible solutions in the company are the key to profiting from this diversity. Our average age in 2017 was 38.9 years, but the proportion of our employees over 50 is rising steadily. A smaller but consistent number of our employees are under 20 years of age. It is important to us to offer good working conditions for all age groups. In 2017, we launched several campaigns to raise awareness of this issue among managers and employees.

For example, we have published portraits and interviews of "generation tandems" on our intranet to demonstrate successful cooperation between employees of different age groups. 

In addition, our division heads and our employee representatives jointly held a diversity day on the subject of age, which was attended by representatives of the Netzwerks Antidiskriminierung e.V. Here we determined what age means for VAUDE and which strategies we need in order to dismantle possible hurdles in the best possible way and to promote potential. In the coming years, we will be looking intensively at options such as gradual retirement or distribution of tasks in line with strengths.

Commitment and cooperation with refugees

Through countless activities and a high energy output, we also took a stand in 2017 for refugees who we met as applicants, employees or project and cooperation partners. We had to overcome some major hurdles and setbacks, but we can look back on many successes of which we are proud. More about it

Supporting people with disabilities

We would like to express the social orientation of our company even more strongly in the future by hiring people with disabilities for certain positions.

During the reporting period, we employed four employees with a status of “severely handicapped” – two male and two female employees, – which corresponds to 0.74 % (2016: 0.76 %).

In recent years, we had set ourselves the goal of improving job opportunities for people with disabilities at VAUDE and of hiring more people with disabilities in a targeted manner. So far, we have only partially achieved this goal. The high dynamic and broad range of issues were partly responsible for this. 

With our holistic approach to diversity and equal opportunities, we will also pay greater attention to this in the future. For example, 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 both to permanent employment opportunities and internships. This also includes defining adapted processes in the filling of positions that allow for inclusion.

GRI:   405-2
Ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men
GRI:   405-1
Diversity of governance bodies and employees
GRI:   406-1
Incidents of discrimination and corrective actions taken
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