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The Bosch LGBT network waves its flag at the company and beyond
For 11 years, the Bosch RBg associate network has promoted greater acceptance and appreciation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. With two recent initiatives, the company highlighted the importance of this network once again. This past weekend, some 60 Bosch associates took part in Stuttgart’s Christopher Street Day (CSD) festivities, with a truck and group of walkers in the pride parade. Their aim was to raise awareness and encourage more tolerance in the way society deals with sexual orientation. It was the fourth time that RBg took part in the CSD parade, and Bosch sponsored the event for the second time.
A few days earlier, the LGBT Allies network was launched within RBg. In the future, 15 Bosch associates with different functions and from different divisions will serve as ambassadors for LGBT rights. They will help eliminate stereotypes about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people and promote an open dialog about sexual orientation.
Ambassadors of tolerance: at the end of July, the new LGBT Allies network was launched with 15 associates at Bosch. Christoph Kübel (ninth from the left), the director of industrial relations at Bosch, was on hand for the kickoff.
A climate of tolerance and acceptance
“With our presence at CSD in Stuttgart and our new Bosch ambassadors for LGBT issues, we demonstrated our commitment to diversity, both at the company and beyond,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Bosch. “A climate of tolerance and acceptance is important for our success. To make the best possible use of our associates’ talents, we need to create a work environment in which all associates can be themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is why we actively support the activities of the RBg associate network.”
The Bosch RBg network was founded in 2006 and now counts 290 members. Of these, about 50 are active outside of Germany, in countries such as Hungary, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and China.
More information about the network can be found here.
Bosch fire brigade takes part in the SkyRun 2017
On the occasion of the SkyRun at the Frankfurt trade fair tower, amateur and professional athletes ran up a total of 61 stories, 1,202 steps, and 222 meters in altitude. Initiated in 2007, the annual charity event is Europe’s highest staircase race. Proceeds go toward the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft für QUErschnittgelähmte mit Spina bifida / Rhein-Main-Nahe e.V. (ARQUE)“, an organization that supports people born with spinal paralysis (Spina Bifida) and hydrocephalus, a disorder that leads to the excessive accumulation of fluid on the brain. As a self-help group, for over 40 years ARQUE has helped children, young people, and adults with disabilities lead independent lives.
Stefan Reinhart (Gerlingen Schillerhöhe), Florian Eggers (Schwieberdingen), Stefan Marienthal (Gerlingen Schillerhöhe)
More than 1,200 staircase runners ran up the high rise, which is located in Frankfurt’s west end. The Bosch fire brigade from the Gerlingen-Schillerhöhe location took part in the event for the fourth time. In the “sprint” category, Stefan Marienthal and Stefan Reinhart tackled the steep climb. With their colleague Florian Eggers from Schwieberdingen, they were also the fastest team to take part in the “Fire Fighter’s Cup” portion of the SkyRun. The teams of three completed the run in full firefighting gear, including helmets, protective suits, boots. With team member Andreas Quett, the pair also mastered a major challenge in the “FFC-ELITE” category: here, the firefighters completed the entire race with their breathing apparatus, and got air through their breathing masks.
Stefan Reinhart, Andreas Quett (Gerlingen Schillerhöhe), Stefan Marienthal
In the end, Stefan Marienthal and Stefan Reinhart had completed three races and climbed more than 3,600 steps, 180 stories, and 660 meters in altitude. Their achievement was honored with the XFire-SUPER-TRIPLE-CUP. And their efforts paid off: In total, SkyRun participants raised around 50,000 euros for ARQUE.
Andreas Quett, Stefan Reinhart
More information on the Bosch fire brigade can be found here.
Bosch launches online social counselling for associates
Last year, members of Germany’s public insurance companies missed an average of 36 days of work for mental health reasons. According to the BKK Health Report 2016, the number of sick days due to psychological ailments more than doubled between 2005 and 2015. With the aim of helping its associates even more, Bosch is now the first company in Germany to offer its in-house social counselling service for associates online. “In-house social counselling can contribute to maintaining the health of our associates,” explains Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “With the online offer, it is now even easier for them to get support“.
Easy access, low inhibition threshold
On the new social counselling website, more than 100,000 Bosch associates in Germany can now get in touch with the experts at the company’s in-house social counselling service. The new point of contact makes it easier for associates to get advice. They can use the service from anywhere at any time, also from their smart phones and home computers. Associates and counsellors communicate via email, or live in individual and expert chats. Just like personal meetings, all digital conversations remain confidential. This makes it easier to talk about sensitive issues related to mental health, stress management, and crisis management. “With our online counselling services, we are reaching associates who may have been too afraid or ashamed to seek help in the past,” says Michaela Noe-Bertram, head of in-house counselling services at Bosch.
With its online counselling services, Bosch has further expanded its healthcare services for associates. In 2015, the company added prevention, rehabilitation, and integration measures related to mental health. The aim is to detect psychological problems early on, raise awareness among associates and their supervisors, and make integrated help services available. In addition to the in-house counselling service, the network also includes Bosch health services and the company’s more than 400 sport and leisure time groups.
More information on the new online social counselling service be found here (Only available in German).
Bosch celebrates its fourth International Diversity Day
Eliminating prejudice is beneficial for everyone: this was the focus of the fourth Bosch International Diversity Day, which took place on May 23, 2017. Under the banner of “Discover Diversity: you are a part of it”, Bosch associates at over 200 locations around the world engaged in intensive discussions. With different activities and events that promoted dialogue, participants made a conscious effort to change perspectives, and thus learned about backgrounds, experiences, and competencies that were different from their own. In so doing, Bosch associates reflected on their own unconscious thought patterns and learned how different perspectives could enhance their daily work.
With this global event, Bosch once again emphasized that diversity is an integral part of its corporate culture as well as a condition for the company’s success. After all, the ability to see things from different perspectives gives rise to new ideas and thus enhances innovative strength at Bosch. Our picture gallery shows how the different locations celebrated the day.
Diversity in a picture: Our Vietnam locations celebrated the fourth annual Bosch International Diversity Day with a photography challenge in traditional Asian outfits. They also held workshops that addressed unconscious thought patterns.
Diversity Challenge: In Indonesia, Bosch associates took a playful approach to addressing diversity-related topics. Participants from different divisions and functional areas carried out a range of tasks accordingly.
A tight knit community: In the United States associates created a unity project, a work of art that aimed to show how closely linked people are to one another, and that everyone shares the same foundation.
Workshop in the grass: At Bosch headquarters in Germany, associates took part in the first Diversity Day Picnic, where they discussed the topics of feedback, trust, appreciation, openness, and empathy.
From B(aby Boomers) to (Generation) Z: In Thailand, Diversity Day activities focused on age. A music challenge and a diversity quiz completed the program.
In South Africa, associates discussed their personal understanding of diversity at a workshop. They also discussed ways in which they could contribute to promoting diversity themselves.
The modern father: at many locations in Japan, male associates attended a seminar on work/life balance for dads.
Up and coming Bosch executives volunteer with social projects
“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” – John le Carré
What are the characteristics of a good executive? In addition to specialist knowledge and sound judgment, many employers place a great deal of importance on their employees’ social skills and commitment to charitable causes. With its “Talent Pool” program, Bosch also encourages up and coming executives to volunteer. In teams comprising associates from different locations and divisions, young executives have the opportunity to volunteer for social projects.
This year’s Talent Pool participants at an event promoting social commitment at Bosch locations
Participants can decide how much time they spend working on the project and coordinate their work independently within the project team. In most cases, the teams also define targets and distribute roles and responsibilities themselves. “We strongly believe that this type of cooperation is very important,” says Mariana Peters, who works in HR development for Bosch corporate departments. “Often, participants are confronted with tasks that are completely new to them. So they need to be flexible and able to adapt to new situations.”
In 2016, 79 members of the Bosch Talent Pool from corporate departments took part in the program. Divided into eight teams, they supported a selection of charitable projects from the region, among them a local initiative that supports the integration of refugees in the workplace, as well as a project that promotes access for people with disabilities. In recent months, the project team comprising 10 up and coming executives helped create a city map for people with disabilities in Gerlingen, a suburb of Stuttgart. To this end, they scoped the town for barriers to accessibility and spoke with restaurant owners and local clubs about improving offers for people with disabilities.
In October, the participants presented their projects at a local event and talked about their experiences, which were positive across the board. The volunteers stated that the teamwork was decisive to the success of their projects. “For us, volunteering for a social project is an important building block for leadership skills,” says Mariana Peters. “We see how important open communication and responsibility are, and their importance keeps growing every day. With this project, we aim to enable up and coming executives to further sharpen these skills in an unknown environment, reflect on them in a timely manner, and make adjustments wherever necessary.” In the spirit of company founder Robert Bosch, participants make an important contribution to social well-being with their involvement in charitable initiatives. At the same time, they sharpen their leadership skills and set a good example for their future employees.
More information on the Bosch Talent Pool can be found here.