Safety and equal opportunity in the workplace are the elements of a successful and happy working environment. For Edelman, these are fundamental corporate values that we actively shape with our employees. Unfortunately, sexism and sexual violence are still part of everyday life for employees in many places. This is why it is particularly important to us, as the first signatory of the declaration "Together against sexism and sexual harassment", to convey a clear message – sexism has no place at our company! We disapprove of all forms of harassment and bullying and take every report seriously – treating it sensitively and confidentially. 

The declaration is the result of the "Dialogue Forums against Sexism", held by the Federal Ministry for Women's Affairs together with the European Academy for Women in Politics and Business Berlin (EAF Berlin). The Joint Declaration is backed by many partners from business and society and is supported by the "Stronger than Violence" initiative. 

The Federal Ministry for Women's Affairs has set itself the goal of combating sexualised violence in the media, culture and the workplace. Both employers and employees are to be encouraged to bring about a cultural change in companies, organisations, government agencies and society. As part of this, the "Dialogue Forums against Sexism" have developed recommendations for action in the workplace, culture and media, and public spaces. 

"More women in leadership positions is a very important contribution for our economy, but also for society. In many industries, there are still "old boys clubs" and this needs to change. The more balanced and diverse we are, the better for our future. In the meantime, the ratio of men to women in management positions at Edelman globally is 50:50 and in Germany we even have 80 per cent women in management positions."

Christiane Schulz, CEO Edelman Germany.

To educate and protect employees against sexism and sexual harassment at Edelman, we have a whole range of preventive services: 

  • Our employees can contact our help hotline directly in confidence if they have any problems. The telephone lines are manned around the clock by an independent service company. Translation services are available for employees who feel more comfortable speaking in a language other than English. 
  • In addition, the local HR team is always available to provide confidential support in documenting and clarifying the situation – as is the management team.
  • We have launched various mandatory trainings that all employees must complete globally. These provide the knowledge and tools to help create a more inclusive work environment and culture. New trainings on unconscious bias and inclusive leadership have been added globally.
  • Prior to the Corona pandemic, we offered self-defence courses to employees and plan to actively resume these in the future. 
  • We successfully launched a Global Women Entrepreneur Network (GWEN) many years ago, and there is also a written commitment to equal distribution of leadership positions between men and women.
  • Our six employee networking groups serve as a vehicle for building an internal community where employees around the world can share, learn and grow – professionally and personally. These groups are the catalyst that helps our employees build community within the larger Edelman family.
  • We all have a responsibility to ensure that bullying and harassment of any kind do not occur. All Edelman employees worldwide are committed to this.

"The safety of our employees is a matter we care about. A clear positioning and active programs against sexism and sexual violence in the workplace are of enormous importance to us. We have already come a long way with our corporate values. We won't stop actively addressing sensitive issues and having a significant positive impact on everyone's mindset."

- Beatrice Winkler, Chief Officer Human Resources