Diversity and Equal Opportunities

  • Material topic: Diversity, Inclusion, equality, and accessibility
  • GRI 405

All United Internet employees should be treated with respect and have equal opportunities, regardless of their nationality, ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation and identity, or social origin.

We underlined this aspiration in 2021 by signing up to Germany’s Charta der Vielfalt (Diversity Charter) and hence undertaking to create a non-discriminatory working environment. Our Diversity Statement sets out the blueprint for all diversity activities in the Company. Our Management Board also takes a personal interest in this.

Diversity Statement

Respect for diversity is a core aspect of United Internet’s corporate culture. The reason for this is simple: Only a workforce that mirrors the many different facets of society offers the best possible conditions for creativity and productivity, and makes employees – and the organization itself – unique. This unique diversity creates an incomparable wealth of ideas and innovations, increasing the Company’s competitiveness and providing opportunities for all.

Since 2020, our diversity measures have been coordinated and enhanced by an interdisciplinary Group-wide project team. A Group-wide diversity survey was conducted for the first time in 2022 with roughly 900 respondents. The main topic areas identified were the two dimensions of gender equality and work-life balance.

Overarching Diversity Measures

We discuss the importance of diversity during the onboarding events for new recruits and managers, and draw attention to the internal platform that provides information on all aspects of diversity. Here, employees and managers can find statements by our Management Board members on the topic, practical tips for ensuring a non-discriminatory daily working environment, and numerous portraits of colleagues. In addition, we have included enterprise-wide guidelines for ensuring nondiscriminatory, gender-sensitive visual imagery and language, plus the online training course on nondiscriminatory human resources decisions developed by the “Initiative Chefsache” network.

  • GRI 406-1

We refuse to tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, or bullying in the workplace. We provide all staff with personal, confidential contacts who can be contacted online, such as our Vertrauenspersonen (persons of trust), compliance coordinators, and the electronic whistleblower system. We take any indications of discrimination extremely seriously and are committed to clarifying all issues reported to us.

In 2022, we took part for the second time in the “German Diversity Day” organized by Charta der Vielfalt e. V. Our “Diversity Days” – a three-day virtual in-house conference – in May offered more than 40 sessions on the topic. For example, the program featured keynotes by Management Board members, interactive workshops, reports by staff on their own experiences, and panel discussions. The feedback from the 900 or so employees who took part was extremely positive, especially as regards whether they would recommend the event to others, the relevance for their work, and the opportunities for enhancing our organization. We aim to build on this success and to continue the format in 2023.

The Diversity Days were flanked by two activities to which staff actively contributed. In the first – an open “Diversity Superstars” vote – three people out of a long list of 30 who had been nominated by staff were honored for the personal commitment in this area, and their contributions highlighted. In the second, employees compiled a diversity cookbook featuring recipes from all over the world and sharing personal stories with colleagues.

In addition to the Diversity Days, we held open virtual meet-ups in German and English throughout the year at which both external and internal speakers presented topics such as gender-sensitive language, cultural diversity, accessibility, and work-life balance. An average of roughly 100 people attended the individual sessions.

In 2022, we started offering our managers dedicated two-part diversity training courses. In the first part of the course, managers are made aware of unconscious thought processes, while the second offers them help with developing an inclusive team and work culture in their areas of responsibility. Seventy-five out of a total of roughly 1,180 managers took part in the two debut training courses in the reporting period.

We also offer special training to HR colleagues that is aimed at reducing the influence of unconscious bias and thought patterns across all HR processes, from recruitment down to talent management.

Gender Equality

  • GRI 2-7
  • GRI 401-1

Our diversity activities focus on promoting gender equality.

In 2022, we defined a new voluntary target for gender quotas for management positions above and beyond the requirements of stock corporation law and of the German Corporate Governance Code. These quotas have been agreed with the Management Board and apply regardless of the segment involved (1) to all management levels up to and including the third level below the Management Board. We are aiming to achieve an average of at least 22% women or men in management positions by 2030. At present the quota is 21.5% for women and 78.5% for men.

Women accounted for 32.7% of new hires in the reporting period (2021: 34.3%; 2020: 33.6%) and 29.1% of newly recruited managers (2021: 29.5%; 2020: 31.1%) .

The following table provides a breakdown of our staff by gender and employment type.

(1) ) In the Business Applications segment, only the following companies are covered by the gender quota: IONOS Group SE, IONOS Holding SE, IONOS SE, IONOS Service GmbH, IONOS Inc., Arsys Internet S.L.U., 1&1 IONOS Philippines Inc., 1&1 Internet Dev. SRL, Fasthosts Internet Ltd., IONOS Cloud Ltd., IONOS Cloud S.L.U., STRATO AG, STRATO Customer Service GmbH, and Cronon GmbH.













Employees by gender (1) in %




(1) The information refers to our active employees not including student workers, school students, interns, thesis students, and temporary staff as of December 31 of the fiscal year concerned.

In addition, 11.1% (2021: 11.1%; 2020: 10.7%) of our core employees worked part-time during the reporting period. We have succeeded in gradually increasing the number of men working part-time.

Women, full-time




Men, full-time




Women, part-time




Men, part-time




Employees by employment type and gender in % (1)




(1) The information refers to our active employees not including student workers, school students, interns, thesis students, and temporary staff as of December 31 of the fiscal year concerned.

Finally, the following table provides a breakdown of our staff by gender and employment type.

Women, temporary employment contracts




Men, temporary employment contracts




Women, permanent employment contracts




Men, permanent employment contracts




Temporary employment contracts, Germany




Temporary employment contracts, outside Germany




Permanent employment contracts, Germany




Permanent employment contracts, outside Germany




Employees by employment contract and region in % (1)




(1) The figures refer to our active employees as of 31 December of the fiscal year concerned.

We start actively promoting gender equality very early, e.g., by taking part in Germany’s national Girls’Day and Boys’Day, or by offering school students programming courses that are taught by our vocational trainees. We also performed dedicated activities designed to promote gender equality as part of our university and professional marketing activities in the past year, such as mentoring for female students at the University of Offenburg and our attendance at careers and networking events specifically targeting women. In addition, our social media channels repeatedly focused on diversity issues throughout the year.

Our German “Women explore” talent and networking offering won the HR Excellence Award in 2020 in the “Diversity and Female Empowerment” category. A total of 43 women from all areas of the Company took part in the repeat of the program in 2022. “Women explore” aims to make high-potential women more visible and to raise their profile within the Company, to make it easier for them to network with one another, to allow them to actively examine their strengths and their career and networking strategies, and to draw conclusions for the Company as whole. The participants attend in-person and virtual network meetings, collaborate on these issues in self-organized learning groups, and share information and opinions with program sponsors on the Management Board and a variety of managers and experts. This helped raised overall awareness of the issue and triggered valuable discussions. Among other things, the participants implemented concrete initiatives based on their own ideas for ways to promote gender equality, such as formats for enabling explicit cultural dialog between the sexes or discussions about topics such as part-time working and cross-cultural exchange.

“Women explore” has also established a pool of female role models who are available to act as discussion partners and mentors within the Company, and who transparently show a range of potential internal career paths that women at United Internet can take.

We offer our female managers and experts in Germany an internal “Women in Management Network” event every six months, which addresses different topics that are relevant for this target group. Our “Ladies Lunch” – which is held in both virtual and in-person versions – offers female colleagues another informal way of networking.

Work-life Balance

Diversity also depends on all employees being able to easily combine their family duties with their profession. Staff in Germany (1) can work remotely from home on individual “cover days” without a particular reason.

In Germany, our external, independent family service offers tailor-made assistance where needed: support with childcare (e.g., free emergency childcare places for children up to 12 years of age); vacation programs (including virtual formats); advice on the German statutory parental allowance, kindergartens, and the like; help with finding home helps; and advice in how to finance long-term care and in personal emergencies. This allowed us to offer staff ongoing support in challenging situations during the COVID-19 period in particular.

A parents’ network was set up in 2022 that invites all interested participants to a virtual meeting and networking session once a quarter. Specific topics addressed included “part-time fathers.”

An enterprise-wide HR working group is also specifically examining work-life balance issues. This group successively sought equal pay reviews for staff returning after absences such as sickness or parental leave. As a result, we were able to make concrete improvements for affected employees in 2022 and our goal is to continue steadily minimizing the salary gap going forward .

In addition, the current segment-specific reboarding processes for employees were examined and the best practices used in other business segments were established in Germany. The reboarding processes ensure that clear responsibilities, checks, and tasks are adopted and performed with staff who are returning after absences. The core objective is to successfully and respectfully reintegrate previously absent employees and to provide the best possible support for them as they take over suitable tasks. If absent staff so desire, they can also participate in Company events while away and can receive information on what is happening there at regular intervals. The goals of these reboarding efforts are to get staff to see absences as a natural part of working life, to allay any uncertainties regarding periods of absence, and to provide optimum support.

(1) applies to the segments "Consumer Applications", "Consumer Access", "Business Access" and to the following companies of "Business Applications": IONOS Holding SE, IONOS SE, IONOS Service GmbH

Other Dimensions of Diversity

Cultural Diversity

United Internet’s world knows no borders: More and more people from other countries are enriching our teams in Germany. What is more, our Business Applications segment has a large number of branches in other European states and increasingly also around the world in countries such as the USA and the Philippines. We help develop a feeling of togetherness among everyone who works for us by holding training courses on topics such as cultural awareness and intercultural communication, plus regular presentations on the culture in specific countries. Our “International Community” format also facilitates regular networking for colleagues from different cultures, promoting intercultural cooperation. In addition, our Company offers a very wide range of support services as needed, such as relocation services and specific onboarding offerings for international staff.

Certain divisions have adopted English as their corporate language. We offer English and German language courses for staff so as to ensure optimum communication, including on specialist subjects, and provide all employees with access to an online language learning portal. Tandem partnerships for peer-to-peer language learning are also set up.


The PROUT AT WORK foundation raises awareness of LGBTIQ+ in the world of work with its PROUT PERFORMER awards. We are proud to announce here that our colleague Benjamin Flick again made the prestigious list of “PROUTExecutives,” i.e., queer managers. Another of our employees, Michelle Thiele, was also included in the “PROUTVoices” list again. This list honors queer people in business below the management level who actively drive forward the issue and give a voice to the LGBTIQ+ community.

The “queer.united” initiative that was founded by staff members also achieved a number of further milestones and held events during the year. These included presentations on specific topics within the LGBTIQ+ context. External networking with other enterprises and organizations is an important step for us. We have started discussions in this area and have already been able to exchange best practices. After the COVID-19 rules were eased, monthly local meetings were help at a large number of United Internet locations in Germany, to share information and experiences in addition to the regular virtual meet-ups. We aim to further expand our internal Queer People Support offering in the coming months. The expertise provided by the “queer.united” initiative in the area of non-binary genders proved useful in the initiative to ensure gender-sensitive and nondiscriminatory language.

Young and Old Together

  • GRI 405-1

The “Young and old together” employee-driven initiative was launched in 2021 with the specific aim of encouraging communication between the generations. A regular lunchtime get-together and a working group are used to share experiences and to collect age-group specific requirements and pass them on to HR.

under 30












50 years and above




Employees by age (1) in %




(1) Figures refer to our active employees as of December 31 of the fiscal year concerned.

The average age of our employees as of December 31, 2022, was 39.0 (2021: 39.9; 2020: 39.4) . The average age of newly recruited core staff in the reporting period was 33.6 (2021: 33.1; 2020: 33.0) .