ERGO relies on mentoring for ten years

Change & Culture, 17.05.2022

Ten years of the ERGO mentoring program: In Cologne, there was a big “thank you” to everyone involved – and a spirited look ahead with 22 new mentoring tandems. A hell of a long time ago? Or just the blink of an eye away? The afternoon in Cologne was a very special event, and not just for Katrin Weitz: after all, the ERGO Diversity Manager had already welcomed the first participants at the premiere back in 2011. A lot has happened since then: A total of 175 mentees have completed the twelve-month program in recent years – many of them are now managers at ERGO.

Katrin Weitz, Diversity Managerin at ERGO, with Annette Kneissler (l.) und Deborah Daubner (r.)

Increasing the proportion of women

The mentoring program is thus helping to continuously increase the proportion of women in management positions at ERGO: At present, this figure is almost 30 percent at all management levels in Germany. Globally, the figure is already around 38 percent – with room for improvement. Katrin Weitz: “The task we were given of implementing all the Gender Ambition by 2025 has certainly added momentum and energy to this issue.”

Two generations of mentees

In the cathedral city, Katrin Weitz live and Gabi Hoffmeister Schönfelder, managing director of kontor5 and responsible for matching the tandems via video, welcomed two “generations” of mentors and mentees at once: for the tenth round of mentoring, it was the closing event, and for the eleventh mentoring round, the starting signal for an exciting year. Due to the limitation of participants, the event was held hybrid for the mentees, mentors, and women.

Attracting and retaining women

A lot has happened in recent years and even more recently to attract women. But also to retain women at ERGO. Katrin Weitz cited the following as examples

  • the new job advertisements, which are intended to appeal to more diversity, or
  • the awareness training, which increases sensitivity for dealing with diversity, and
  • of course, the quotas in the talent programs such as the short and long list in the selection processes and
  • new measures such as job sharing.

In the closing event, the first job sharing tandem at ERGO Lydia Kehl and Johannes Stoffregen will report on their experiences. “A model what has a future to be able to live compatibility of work and family also in management positions”, says Lydia Kehl.

Katrin Weitz looked proudly at the steadily growing pool of mentors – especially with women from the board and first reporting level. She also expressly welcomed future Labor Director Lena Lindemann as a new mentor.

And there are also new male managers. For example, Mark Klein, CEO of Digital Ventures, is taking on the role of mentor for the first time, in addition to his role as patron of the Fathers' Network. 

22 new mentees

A total of 22 mentees from a wide range of corporate divisions and departments are starting the eleventh year, eight of them from the sales department. Katrin Weitz: “There have never been so many before. Great, thanks to Sales as well!”

In addition to bilateral mentoring, the mentees will also have another opportunity to show their innovation and creativity for ERGO over the next twelve months.

Review and new start

Afterwards, the current mentees said goodbye with a program under the motto: Ten years of mentoring at ERGO – where did we start and where are we today.

Learn more

Would you like to learn more about successful women at ERGO? Then visit the "Succeed - Women in Leadership" page right now.

With various measures, our Diversity Management team supports a culture of diversity that is characterised by respect, equal opportunities and a working environment free of prejudice.. You can find out more about this topic on the "Diversity" page.

Related articles

Change & Culture 03.05.2023

Mentoring programme: ERGO continues to write the success story for women

ERGO aims to fill 40 percent of management positions with women by 2025. The mentoring programme is helping to achieve this: 70 percent of the female participants to date have reached a first or next management position.

Change & Culture 08.03.2023

"We think it's important to create equitable opportunity."

International Women's Day 2023 In this interview Lena Lindemann, ERGO Group Labour Director, and Oliver Willmes, Chairman of the Board of Management of ERGO International talk about diversity as an important part of ERGO Ambition 2025 and what equality means to them personally.

Change & Culture 28.09.2023

"Our exchange is both giving and taking - very enriching"

What motivates Rolf Mertens, "Head of Advanced Analytics & Robotics" and now also "Mentor of the Year," to be involved in mentoring for over 20 years? And how does he look back on his 31-year career within the company?