... the “art of tolerance”? The “key to understanding the world”? Or simply “something that goes without saying”? At the Federal Foreign Office, we asked our staff for their views on the matter. For 9 June is “Diversity Day” once again for Germany’s companies and institutions, and of course the Federal Foreign Office is joining in.
All over the world, our colleagues have avowed their support of diversity in the foreign service. Original photos conveying important messages came flooding into Head Office in Berlin at the start of June 2015.
The teams from the missions abroad and at Head Office illustrated the importance they attach to diversity in their daily work – some with humour, others very seriously. Of course, “diversity is ... routine”, and not just for our colleagues in Skopje. It is also “the salt in the soup”, as it was put by our staff in Rio, using a German figure of speech reminiscent of the English expression “the spice of life”. And in Pretoria they all agreed that there can be “no symphony without many parts.”
What is Diversity Day?
9 June 2015 is Diversity Day, an initiative started by the non-profit association Charta der Vielfalt AG. Diversity Day is the opportunity for German companies and other institutions to show how diversity helps them strengthen their positions and overcome socio-political challenges. This year’s Diversity Day is already the third such day since the launch in 2012, and a new record has been set with 800 activities planned.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier signed the Diversity Charter on behalf of the Federal Foreign Office in August 2014, noting that, “the Federal Foreign Office also needs bright and open‑minded young people from a very wide range of backgrounds in order to become even better at what it does.” By signing the Charter, the Foreign Minister underscored the fact that diplomats around the world represent a cosmopolitan Germany, and themselves contribute to it.
More on this subject: “A global us: more diversity in the Federal Foreign Office”
The Diversity Charter
A diverse body of staff with varying skills and talents opens the door to innovative and creative solutions. The aim of implementing the Diversity Charter is to establish a working environment free of prejudice.
All employees should be valued regardless of their sex, nationality, ethnic background, religion, beliefs, disabilities, age, sexual orientation and identity.