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Advice / Employer Resources

Employer Spotlight: Anna Skender on Deutsche Bank's Inclusive and Collaborative Culture

Anna Skender
Anna Skender/Deutsche Bank

Here at The Muse, we know that there's no better way to understand how to ace your own employer brand than by seeing some best practices in action.

Well, you're in luck—because that's exactly what our Employer Spotlight Series does. We feature all sorts of helpful advice and insights from companies that are totally crushing their employer brands, so that you can learn from their success.

This month, we chatted with Anna Skender, Talent Acquisition Lead, AVP at Deutsche Bank, to get the lowdown on how the company's inclusive culture and emphasis on work-life balance helps them stand out and attract top talent.

How did you find your current role? Does it align with your background (college or previous work experience)?

My husband and I recently moved back to North Carolina after being gone for 11 years (DC, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco). I’ve spent my career working in global recruitment and admissions, so I was looking for an exciting and dynamic role in either talent acquisition or senior admissions at a top university here in the Triangle. I saw the opening for a Talent Acquisition Lead at Deutsche Bank in Cary, NC and was intrigued. I had never worked for an investment bank or in technology. I ended up with an offer to join to Deutsche Bank as well as another organization that was more closely aligned with what I had done in the past, but I wanted to push myself to use my talent acquisition skills in a completely different industry and environment. I’m a strong believer that you need to find ways to “reinvent” yourself over your career and stay relevant.

I majored in Psychology and Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill and feel those two disciplines have been a great foundation for being a global talent acquisition professional.

What is one tool or piece of advice you wish you'd known about when you first started working at Deutsche Bank?

I wish we would have had The Muse when I first started working here! A sorority sister of mine from UNC-Chapel Hill worked at The Muse in NYC, and Kathryn Minshew worked at the Clinton Health Access Initiative where I led global recruitment. Thus, The Muse was on my radar and, when I arrived here, I realized we needed this branding tool and platform for technology at Deutsche Bank and attracting top talent.

Deutsche Bank has a very open and collaborative company culture that strongly encourages work-life balance. How do you communicate to candidates that Deutsche is different than the traditional bank on Wall Street?

We are committed to supporting our employees in being able to have exciting careers while still being able to manage and enjoy their lives outside of work. We arrange flexible work schedules where possible and particularly support women with generous paid maternity leave and flexible arrangements when they come back.

Deutsche Bank has an extensive history of supporting and promoting an inclusive workplace and society.

  • In 2017, Human Rights Campaign recognized Deutsche Bank as one of the world’s Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality for the 15th consecutive year.
  • In 2017, Deutsche Bank was included in the Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI).
  • Deutsche Bank became an early adopter of the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business to tackle discrimination against LGBTI people, launched in September 2017.

And, just a few weeks ago, we signed a business statement supporting Transgender Equality, reiterating the bank’s longstanding support of equal rights and campaigning for U.S. federal government recognition for transgender people.

Deutsche Bank operates in more than 60 countries worldwide and has a workforce that includes 149 nationalities. We are proud to have a workforce representing a multitude of citizenships and national identities. We communicate this to candidates at different points during the recruitment process, but are also grateful to have The Muse to showcase our employees in the video profiles directly speaking to our supportive and collaborative culture.

What part does The Muse play in your current talent acquisition strategy?

The Muse allows us the authenticity to tell our story versus selling it, and we have tried to incorporate our partnership into every stage of our recruitment life cycle. From links in our job descriptions and email signatures to the first conversation candidates have with one of our recruiters, we are constantly encouraging our candidates to go check us out on the Muse!

We love Deutsche Bank's commitment to diversity and inclusion and focus on hiring more female technologists. What are some initiatives and programs you have that help foster this type of work environment?

We have started hosting local female technology organizations, such as Tech Ladies and ChickTech, for their monthly meet-ups (and, when we are not hosting, we make sure to attend their monthly meet-ups regardless of where they are in the triangle). We serve as a gold sponsor for Pearl Hacks, a 24-hour hackathon for female college students at UNC Chapel Hill, for which we send mentors for teams, leads for workshops, and speakers for keynote tech talks. We also attend the annual Grace Hopper Conference for female technologists. This year, we sent double the amount of female technologists than we have previously to emphasize our commitment to retaining and attracting more female technologists.

Additionally, we have an Employee Resource Group, Women on Wall Street (WOWs), that puts together regular events for our female technologists internally on a number of different topics, including tech and career progression. On November 14th, we did a simulcast bringing together some of our top tech minds to explore how banks create meaningful customer experiences in a time of constant disruption. Over the course of an hour, our global panelists discussed some of the most compelling technology topics in banking today.

How do you celebrate these initiatives both through your employer brand and the candidate experience?

We promote them on our social media channels, and we use these events and initiatives to actually engage with talent and attract individuals by displaying our commitment to increasing diversity at Deutsche Bank. From a social perspective, we have a worldwide audience of almost 1 million people, around 20% of which is in the U.S. Diversity is one of the most popular topics—from coverage of events during Pride Season, through advocacy programs on a range of topics, to competitions such as the Powering Progress initiative we have run for the past two years. It’s a really great platform to let the diversity and inclusion of the organization shine.

What are the most rewarding parts of your job?

The people at Deutsche Bank are phenomenal. I get so much enjoyment from working at such an incredibly dynamic global bank where I’m constantly collaborating with or being intellectually challenged by colleagues across the globe. We are continually asking if we can do things differently to be more efficient, or more innovative with how we approach talent acquisition and the future of work. It’s a place where you can be creative, raise your hand to work on a new program or project, or come up with your own idea entirely to run with. The autonomy and encouragement of innovation and doing things differently is so invigorating and rewarding.

What's something you're currently reading or listening to that you love?

I am a super fan of GOOP podcasts. There have been a couple interviews recently with strong business women (ex: Stella McCartney) that are truly inspiring and helpful in guiding me through pursuing a successful career while trying to care for little ones at home as well. Hearing these women’s voices, drive, tips, and life-hacks is so energizing. I look forward to the podcasts dropping each week!