16 December, 2012
With the dark clouds of the financial crisis still looming overhead, Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank is seeking to brighten its reputation, change its corporate culture and set the stage for long-term profitability – by hiring experienced, tech-savvy women.
The financial industry has been working hard to regain public trust over the past few years. Recently, Deutsche Bank has been in the media spotlight due to investigations into its connection to risky investments, sale of toxic assets and other allegations, according to Reuters.
Stephan Leitner, an executive board member and Head of Human Resources and Compliance for the bank noted that having trustworthy bankers is the first step to rebuilding confidence. However, the industry will need more. Deutsche plans to redefine itself by hiring more women, particularly women executives. As Leitner explained, "In many situations, female staff contribute toward team orientation, partnership and long-term sustainability."
Speaking at a recent seminar for young bankers in Frankfurt, Leitner outlined Deutsche Bank’s strategy for the years ahead, saying "The banker of the future will be more female, more international, older, more team oriented and more mobile, and needs to enjoy working with technology."
In September, Deutsche Bank announced that it wants to increase the number of female executives on its bench from 17% in 2011 to 25% by 2017. It also hopes to have 35% of overall leadership positions filled by women by 2018.
Clearly, significant change will be needed to remedy the industry’s trust issues. Recent surveys have shown that only 47% of the public still trusts banks, as compared to technology and automotive companies, which can count on public confidence of 90% and 66% respectively.In the Wall Street Journal, bloggers Madeleine Nissen and Eyk Henning cite "the image of the young, male, money-orientated banker…who sold questionable products" as the basis for this lack of trust. Changing this face could well be the key to reversing public sentiment. As Stephan Leithner pointed out, “In an environment in which risk is an issue, mixed teams will be crucial.”