The Foreign Office in Berlin. Only 12 percent of employees in the federal administration have a migration background while there are twice as many in the population/Photo: AfricanCourierMedia

Germany: Calls for more diversity in public service

On 8 April, representatives of the federal administration met in Berlin with civil society stakeholders to develop a holistic diversity strategy for the federal administration. This working group, consisting of all federal ministries, federal government commissioners and representatives of the trade unions, reflected the diverse society and endeavoured to reflect this in the public service.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser emphasised that “The diversity of our country is a great strength. One in four people in Germany has a history of migration. It is time for this to be reflected more strongly in public administration. We must see diversity as a factor in attracting the best minds to the civil service. We need the talents and perspectives of society as a whole for a strong civil service. We are therefore continuing to drive forward the new diversity strategy in order to modernise personnel development and recruitment for the civil service.”

Speaking at the event, Reem Alabali-Radovan, Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration and Commissioner for Anti-Racism, said: “Only 12 percent of employees in the federal administration have a migration background. There are twice as many in the population. With the diversity strategy, the civil service should become a reflection of the diversity of our society – because diverse teams create better results, because government action needs all perspectives and talents, because it is about fairness.”

The diversity strategy will be further developed in the coming months and will include measures to promote diversity in the federal administration on a permanent basis. The focus will be on areas such as organisational development, personnel development (including training), recruitment and anti-discrimination.

Dr Sylvie Nantcha and Fouzia Hammoud, Federal Chairwoman of TANG – The African Network of Germany, and its Federal Executive Board member respectively took part in this conference. In her working group on the topic of recruitment, Dr Nantcha emphasised the importance of working with migrant umbrella organisations to ensure that job advertisements are made known in the various communities. After all, true diversity in the Federal Administration can only be achieved if the job advertisements address all target groups.

In the public service, diversity and equal opportunities have increasingly become the focus of attention. Nevertheless, the intercultural opening of institutions has been pursued since the early 1990s. It was first and foremost the police forces of the federal states and many local authorities that recognised the relevance very early on and initiated intercultural openness as a process in their organisations. In 2012, the National Action Plan launched a total of 30 individual measures to promote the further intercultural opening of the public service.

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