The power of diversity in our working environment

A conversation about the potential and challenges of diversity

Published 02/22/2024

We believe that embracing a spirit of diversity throughout our company gives us a higher variety of opinion and greater innovation, and thus offers us long-term competitive benefits. For this reason, CENIT has been a member of the German employer initiative “Charta der Vielfalt” since June 2023. In joining this scheme, we have committed to the goal of promoting a working environment that values all our employees equally. We spoke about this topic – and generally about the role of diversity at CENIT – with Peter Schneck, CEO of CENIT, Stephanie Dihlmann, Director Finance, and Tobias Dittrich, Director Human Resources.

The power of diversity in our working environment

How do you perceive diversity at CENIT, and why is it important to you that we stay committed to these topic?

Peter Schneck: I believe that diversity has enormous power in terms of tapping potential for our company. If we view challenges from a variety of perspectives, we get better at developing the right solutions for our stakeholders and covering all their needs and use cases. At CENIT, we encourage our team members to openly express their opinions and lifestyles, because that’s what makes each of us unique. Diversity has also been a major factor in my own life history. International experience and a variety of different opinions have not just had an influence on my professional development, but also on my world view. The percentage of pleasant and intelligent people is the same wherever you go, irrespective of gender, religion, ancestry or other qualities. For myself personally, diversity is key to innovation and personal growth.

Stephanie Dihlmann: I can only agree. Our ambitious growth strategy stretches across different companies in several countries. That means that we bring lots of people from different cultures and social backgrounds together, and all of them have their own ways of looking at and thinking about things. And our clients are just as diverse as our employees. If we take up all these perspectives and distill the best from them, we can achieve a deeper understanding of what our customers need and serve them better. Diversity can decide how we will work in future, and that makes it a decisive driver for our long-term growth.

Tobias Dittrich: That’s a very important perspective. The other perspective is that we already see this diversity in the way we recruit our staff today: We hire teenage school students but also 60-year-old managers and professionals, and have been doing so for many years. We don’t care about a person’s background. Instead, we look at their specific skill sets and whether or not they fit into our value system. In future, that aspect is going to grow even more important. As Stephanie described it, we are dealing with a new type of complexity. I’m convinced that we have already laid the foundations: With every new hire, things are becoming more colorful, and we are reaping more and more human benefits. But the same attitude has defined us for many years.

Joining the German “Charta der Vielfalt” commits us to step up our efforts at increasing diversity in our working environment. What specific measures are in the pipeline?

Peter Schneck: For us, joining the “Charta der Vielfalt” was a logical step because it builds on the foundation we have laid in the past years. We want to address diversity and inclusion issues more deeply and invite everyone to take an active part in our activities in the field of diversity. For me, that includes setting clear targets and measuring our progress. In future, we are going to show exactly how CENIT lives and promotes diversity.

Tobias Dittrich: For me, this is a clear sociopolitical statement by CENIT. We commit to values which we live daily and which dovetail with our company values. In that way we assume responsibility, but above all we show what we stand for and what we’re proud of. Beginning next year, we will kick off a range of activities associated with the topics of diversity and inclusion. Among other things, we are planning a round-table format that will address different priority issues.

Studies show that diverse teams can make businesses more successful. How does that affect the way CENIT works?

Stephanie Dihlmann: What I experience in my own work is that we concentrate first and foremost on the skill sets of our prospective hires. But it’s also important to us that we complement our teams to keep things dynamic. Different opinions and perspectives help us achieve new and better results. And our international setup, with our different country teams and subsidiaries, makes diversity an even more important dimension for us.

Tobias Dittrich: Letting diversity take hold is a learning process. We are developing in the direction of a corporation structure, and that means we have to take on new responsibilities. When we roll out processes internationally, we have to listen more closely, take different cultures into account and, most importantly, get everyone on board. Empathy is an important aspect in this regard, and we must not let hierarchy stifle it.

Diversity doesn’t make things easier, but it makes them better because it gives us new perspectives. In all this, our values are the connecting element – that’s how it’s been in the past, and that’s how it’s going to stay.

Tobias Dittrich

Director Human Resources


What role can management play when it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion in our working lives, and how are we preparing our mangers for these tasks?

Tobias Dittrich: As our tasks become more complex, we have to listen more closely and follow up on what we hear. This involves cultural, gender and generational aspects, and those are just a few of the dimensions of diversity. It’s crucial that we sensitize our managers to these issues, and for that they have to fully understand their roles. This is where our new leadership model comes in, which puts the individual and his or her complexity front and center.

Stephanie Dihlmann: I also believe that the role of managers will change. It’s no longer just about making decisions and leading the way – their tasks will become wider than that. It’s more important now that managers are able to react in sensitive and flexible ways to the needs and requirements of their staff. Managers must take charge of diversity and hold it together.

Tobias Dittrich: … and they have to do it independently of gender, age and culture, because we are all complex and unique.

Many thanks for this open conversation and your transparent insights into the important topics of diversity and inclusion.

Contact person

Selina Kalbfell

Selina Kalbfell

Communications Manager

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