Member German Ministry of Defence

Many talented people render their service in this division of the Federal Ministry of Defence. We value the diverse experience and qualifications of our employees. Our aim is to develop this potential through all stages of life, while ensuring equal opportunities. We set store by the advancement of gender balance in leadership positions. Diversity, that is a mix of talent and skills, is valuable in itself – and an opportunity for the Armed Forces – the Bundeswehr.

  • In 2012, the Bundeswehr committed itself to diversity management when it signed up to the Charter for Diversity.
  • The diversity of the Bundeswehr and its members is firmly anchored in the White Paper 2016 and, more recently, in the new personnel strategy.
  • In its efforts to live up to these aspirations, the Bundeswehr is adopting modern and pragmatic approaches.
  • For instance, aside from valuing the suitability, skills, and professional record of employees, attention is increasingly placed on the socio-cultural background and the associated wealth of experience.

Ursula von der Leyen, German Minister of Defence
Bundesministerium der Verteidigung
Ursula von der Leyen
German Minister of Defence

„What holds true for society also holds true for our armed forces: Diverse challenges require diverse capabilities and diverse minds that can play in any key. That’s why every man and every woman counts. If we want to go for 100%, we must not loose sight of 50% of our talent pool.“


The Bundeswehr contributes to the objectives of the initiative with numerous measures:

  • Advancing women in accordance with the German Federal Equal Opportunities Act, developing gender balance plans, introducing civilian and military gender equality officers as legal supervision and monitoring units and as advisory and support units in every unit with more than 100 staff
  • Establishing a sub-section “Equal opportunities, diversity, and inclusion” tasked with identifying and analyzing existing gender-related, systemic inequalities, and if necessary developing suitable countermeasures
  • Sensitizing supervisors especially with regards to the topic of equal opportunities, women in leadership positions, and work-life balance
  • Securing comprehensive coverage of unconscious bias issues across all training levels in the Bundeswehr
  • Introducing measures to counter unconscious bias along the value chain in personnel management, e.g., analysis of application and selection procedures (assessment, interview) as well as assessment and evaluation procedures in the Bundeswehr
  • Introducing mentoring programs for women profiles particularly underrepresented, e.g., physicians in Bundeswehr hospitals, experts in the Federal Ministry of Defence and executive grade employees in technical and natural sciences
  • Agreeing objectives with top personnel in order to identify at an early stage women high-potentials in subordinate levels and prepare them for leadership posts
  • Measures to increase appeal: Career opportunities for employees with family duties through specific local solutions, including measures in the fields of “family-service balance” (e.g., childcare) and “autonomous work” (e.g., flexible working models in terms of time and place).
  • Personnel talks before and after parental leave to agree on, and enable, future career steps that are sustainable and strike a balance between family and service to the extent possible.

How does the commitment to the Chefsache initiative fit with our activities?

  • At the Bundeswehr too: equal opportunities are top priority.
  • As one of Germany’s largest public-sector employers, we are actively contributing to shaping change in the working world and in society through the measures outlined above.
  • This is consistent with the overarching policy to contribute to a fairer and progressive society through gender balance and modern role models. Moreover, we are making people and individual talents the focal point of our organization.

Relevant studies:

Related internal web pages

Further information

www.bmvg.de


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