Coloured figures

Diversity at the BMZ

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) lives diversity. We are actively committed to creating a culture of diversity both at our Berlin and Bonn offices and also across the world, particularly in our partner countries. In 2019, the BMZ signed the German Diversity Charter (External link). Signatories commit to a forward-looking work culture marked by mutual respect and diversity.

The BMZ has a diverse organisational culture. The work environment is one of respect for all employees regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic or social background, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation or identity. We want to ensure that all employees contribute to, and can benefit from, a work environment that is free from prejudice.

Our ministry is international in focus and we work with partners from across the world. Our staff work in many different roles and on many different issues. They have a wide variety of educational backgrounds, career focuses and personal histories.

The BMZ takes into account staff members' diversity of personal circumstances in terms of children, family, health issues or caring responsibilities; this diversity is a major factor in the successful working of the BMZ. Staff members have organised into various different interest groups, such as the queer group and the anti-racism initiative, standing up in support of diversity, tolerance and respect.

Diversity in facts and figures


56 %

of employees are female

The principle of

gender parity

is applied on all supervisory bodies

8.39 %

of staff have a disability

20 %

of staff have an immigrant background (as at 2018)


49 %

of senior positions are occupied by women


50 %

of all BMZ staff seconded to German missions abroad, development banks, the EU and international organisations are women

Diversity is a firmly established principle of human resource development at the BMZ. The principle of non-discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, origin, disability, sexual orientation or identity is applied to all aspects of the professional development of BMZ staff.

In 2019, the German government signed the German Diversity Charter. The initiative is aimed at cultivating appreciation, respect and diversity in the workplace within Germany. By signing the Charter, the BMZ has committed to create a work environment that is free of prejudice – regardless of people’s age, ethnicity and nationality, gender or gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religion or belief, sexual orientation or social background. Our human resource strategies and instruments therefore apply high standards regarding equality, inclusion and the promotion of diversity and equal opportunities and we are striving to raise those standards even higher. This applies, for example, in particular to the recruitment and selection process, guidelines on managing and working with staff, and human resources development.

A staff survey was conducted in 2018 on cultural diversity and equality of opportunity. It showed that 20 per cent of the BMZ’s staff have an immigrant background, putting it in fourth place within Germany’s federal administration. The BMZ currently employs staff from 23 different countries.

The ministry has been working in recent years to improve gender equality within the staff in general and also in management positions. It has now achieved an outstanding record (as at 2023):

  • around 56 per cent of staff are female;
  • around 49 per cent of management positions are occupied by women;
  • 45.8 per cent of those who successfully completed the process of advancing to a higher civil service grade in 2022 are women;
  • around 50 per cent of all BMZ staff seconded to German missions abroad, development banks, the EU and international organisations are women;
  • in all the supervisory bodies on which the BMZ sits, it practises gender parity.

In March 2016 the BMZ signed an agreement on the integration of people with disabilities. In it, the BMZ commits to take account of the concerns of people with severe disabilities by promoting inclusion and participation and to endeavour in particular to achieve the employment quota for people with disabilities specified in Germany’s Social Code (SGB) Book IX. Currently, 8.39 per cent of the BMZ’s staff are registered as having a severe disability.

The BMZ takes a clear stance against all forms of harassment or discrimination in the workplace. It has set up a complaints board in accordance with Germany's General Act on Equal Treatment (External link). If any member of staff at the BMZ feels they have been subject to discrimination or harassment for reasons of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity, they can lodge a complaint with the board. This also applies to any form of sexual harassment. The complaints board will then conduct a neutral investigation into their complaint.

As at: 02/05/2023