"Diverse teams are more creative and innovative"

Astrid Kaltenegger: For half a year now, I have been a member in the Allianz Group Diversity Council and I have been working in a multicultural environment for some time now.

In my direct team, I have five employees of which four are women, one is from Russia, and one is from the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Altogether I have about 25 people in my team and many women amongst them. My working environment is very exciting and inspiring.

Astrid Kaltenegger: "Diversity can't just be a theory - you have to live it"

The main aspect is how to deal with different backgrounds, both personal and professional. My Russian colleague is a physicist with a MBA and at the same time she has a very empathic nature. Of course, you can't just put it down to the fact that this would be typically Russian - it is also a matter of character. But, I still think that in certain moments her Russian soul shows - which I really appreciate. She brings her own view into our discussions which is very enriching.

I try to treat it as though it would be very natural. To me, it is important to do something concrete in terms of diversity. This topic can't just be a theory. You have to do something to change something. You have to live diversity.

I would like to push the project of childcare for Allianz in Munich.

Childcare should be bilingual, multicultural and flexible in terms of time so that it enables women and men to balance career and family.

To achieve a good mix of Germans and non-Germans amongst the executives and a gender mix that doesn't necessarily need to mean a 50:50 mix. But, there a still too many areas with only men or only Germans. Mixed teams are more creative and innovative.

You can't fill certain positions reflecting only on the aspect of diversity you also always have to consider personal qualification. I'm not a protectionist of proportions and forced numbers of women in companies are discriminating in my view. Women should raise their hands a lot more and take their fate into their own hands. Mentoring circles are a very good tool in this context.

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