Inside Scout24

Updated: March 26, 2024Reading time: 10 minutes

Diversity and Inclusion at Scout24: A Peek Behind the Scenes with our Sustainability Manager Nicola Markwardt

Nicola's journey at Scout24 started as a working student in the Sustainability field, where she quickly demonstrated her potential. Following her master's degree, she joined as a Junior Sustainability Manager and has now grown into the role of Professional Sustainability & DEI Manager. Nicola's commitment and expertise significantly drive Scout24's sustainability and diversity initiatives forward. Learn more about Nicola's inspiring career path and her impactful work at Scout24 in our interview!

What does Diversity and Inclusion mean to you personally and why do you consider them important? 

Diversity is enrichment and simultaneously a sort of metric, as it encompasses various characteristics or attributes of individuals, groups, or even entire societies. It allows us to better grasp the diversity among people. In the context of work within a company, diversity to me means that there is a range of people with vastly different ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, various lifestyles, experiences, and interests represented. Inclusion, on the other hand, ensures that every individual with their unique qualities and needs has a place with us, and the conditions are adjusted, if necessary, to facilitate participation for everyone. Diversity and inclusion are therefore inherently interconnected. 

How would you explain your role as Sustainability Manager to externals? 

For many people, the term Sustainability, or in germanNachhaltigkeit”, is likely first associated with the environmental perspective, such as climate change. This perspective is extremely important, and climate change, in particular, is one of, if not the most pressing issue of our time. However, sustainability encompasses more than just environmental and climate protection. Additionally, there are social and economic perspectives. All three are equally important and interrelated. Our goal is to ensure that sustainability is considered in all relevant business areas. As a team, we focus not only on the company-wide climate strategy but also on topics related to diversity, equality, inclusion, social engagement, as well as legal requirements, such as sustainability reporting obligations. 

What specific steps have you taken to promote diversity and inclusion at Scout24? 

„My team and I organize various projects to advance diversity and inclusion. For example, we host an annual „Diversity Week,“ during which all employees have the opportunity to participate in lectures and workshops covering various dimensions of diversity.“

Last year, there were contributions on writing and speaking without discrimination or tips on how men can act as catalysts for gender equality. Additionally, we conduct an annual inclusion survey to gather input from employees on their needs, maintain continuous dialogue with partner organizations such as Social Heroes or the Berlin City Mission, offer team workshops and panel discussions, and support the promotion of women in leadership positions.  

How do you actively address biases and discrimination, and what training or resources does Scout24 provide to our employees to raise awareness of these issues?  

To dispel biases, it requires education and personal contact. Therefore, we collaborate with the People Team not only to promote diversity within the workforce but also to directly engage with affected individuals from marginalized groups wherever possible. It is important to us to let diverse voices speak for themselves, to learn from each other and not about each other. This can be achieved through theme weeks, topical lectures, and workshops. 

Discrimination has no place with us at Scout24. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, threats, or any other hostile behavior. Our employees are required to participate annually in our mandatory training on diversity, equality, and inclusion. Here, they learn not only about the behavior we expect and what already constitutes a boundary violation but also whom they can trustfully approach in case of incidents. 

How do you measure the success of diversity and inclusion initiatives? What metrics or indicators do you use to track progress? 

To measure the success of our initiatives, we primarily rely on the annual anonymous inclusion survey. It provides us not only with demographic insights but also helps us gauge whether and to what extent the various groups in our company feel comfortable and included. The year-on-year comparison and the free-text responses often provide indications of how our measures have been received. From the answers, we can then plan new projects.  

What are Scout24's long-term goals regarding diversity and inclusion, and how do you plan to achieve them? 

We have set ourselves a series of ambitious goals. For example, this year we aim to ensure a hiring ratio of at least 50% women and non-binary individuals again. Additionally, in collaboration with the Inklupreneur network, we aim to fill five positions in the company with people with disabilities. Long-term, there is a focus on promoting women into leadership positions. By the end of 2026, we aim to have achieved a female representation of 43%. To achieve these goals, many colleagues from various departments cooperate hand in hand. Currently, we are working intensively on making our corporate websites more accessible, exchanging ideas in various talent networks, further developing our internal women's promotion program, and anchoring diversity goals through semi-annual personnel development discussions at the management level. 

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