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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.
Girls’ Day: Bosch Rexroth sparks girls’ enthusiasm for unconventional professions
In the German states of Hesse and Bavaria, almost 70 girls recently had the opportunity to learn about soldering, welding, and cutting. On the occasion of Girls’ Day on April 27, they visited the Bosch Rexroth plants in Lohr, Erbach, or Schweinfurt, where they were shown that technical and manual professions are just as suitable for women as they are for men.
In Germany, Girls’ Day takes place each spring, and aims to spark girls’ enthusiasm for the technical professions from the fifth grade onward. Today, such jobs are still largely the domain of men. This is often because girls do not have the information or knowledge they need to be interested in technical apprenticeships or courses of study. Bosch Rexroth would like to change this state of affairs.
At the Ehrbach plant, 13 Girls’ Day participants tried out soldering irons. Under the guidance of trainer Frank Bauer and several apprentices, the seventh graders soldered a cube that is controlled by a microcontroller. They then took the finished product home with them, along with valuable insights into the “electrician for devices and systems” apprenticeship.
At Bosch Rexroth in Rohr, 35 schoolgirls visited the plant and demonstrated natural talent for professions such as industrial electrician, mechatronics engineer, foundry mechanic, cutting machine operator, and technical product designer. Moreover, 20 high school students visited the corporate units at the Schweinfurt plant, where they gathered valuable information on a broad range of apprenticeships and as well as on cooperative education programs.
Beyond Girls’ Day, Bosch is committed to promoting gender equality. By 2020, the company aims to fill at least 20 percent of management positions with women. In 2016, the figure was already 15.4 percent. The Bosch Sustainability Report 2016 describes in detail how Bosch supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5: gender equality.
The company’s LGBT network is celebrating its 10th anniversary
Ten years ago, Bosch associates joined forces to found RBg, the Bosch gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender associate network. Their aim was to make the LGBT community more visible at the company, and to promote greater tolerance and acceptance. A great deal has happened since then: today, more than 290 members in 10 countries are active members of RBg. And Bosch sponsored this year’s Christopher Street Day celebrations in Stuttgart, demonstrating the company’s commitment to promoting diversity. This sent out an important signal, says Dr. Jean-Claude Loux, a Bosch engineer and the associate network’s spokesperson.
Dr. Loux, this year’s CSD was held under the banner of “Operation Visibility”. How visible is the LGBT community at Bosch?
As a result of our involvement in events such as Christopher Street Day, it is become increasingly visible. The Bosch sponsorship was communicated through a variety of channels: there were articles on the intranet, in the associate newspaper, and on Facebook. As a result, colleagues see what we are doing and just how important diversity and the LGBT community are at Bosch. The sponsorship has helped Bosch strengthen its position, also vis-à-vis its associates. Today, Germany has the greatest RBg representation, but our network is also growing in other countries in which the topic of homosexuality is still taboo. This is mainly the result of our board of management’s clear support of our network.
How can an associate network promote greater tolerance with regard to sexual orientation?
As the network has grown, each and every one of us has become more visible. This is important, because it has contributed to making interaction with the LGBT community more natural and relaxed. Many people still associate homosexuality mainly with sex. We want to change that: after all, sexual identity is a great deal more, and shouldn’t be reduced to physicality.
What would you like to see for your community in the next ten years?
If I look around at Bosch in Germany, I can see that tolerance is widespread. But sometimes there is still a lack of acceptance. For this reason, I would like the LGBT community to be just a normal part of the Bosch community. I’d also like to reach out more to our colleagues in production as well. Since they aren’t sitting at a computer, they are more difficult for us to reach.
Thank you very much for the interview, Dr. Loux.
More information on diversity at Bosch can be found here.
Bosch takes first place at the New Work Award 2016
“Diversity is our Advantage” is Bosch’s motto, and the company lives up to its promise of promoting work/life balance by offering a variety of work-time models, among them flexible working hours, part-time management, and telecommuting, At the end of January, the company was honored for this commitment to its associates at the New Work Award 2016, which was presented by the XING professional social network. Bosch took first place at the award ceremony, followed by the construction company Heitkamp & Hülscher, which offers its employees a profit-sharing scheme. Third place went to Bike Citizens GmbH from Graz, Austria, which has introduced a four-day work week for all its employees.
Daniela Huber and Dörte Heidemann (both Bosch) with host Michel Abdollahi.
It was the third time that XING honored forward-looking companies in German-speaking countries that have acted as role models by redefining their working cultures. Bosch won against more than 140 competitors. The company considers the diversity and individuality of its associates an asset, and a prerequisite of successful business. For this reason, Bosch has made promoting a healthy balance between work and private life part of its corporate culture. The company currently offers more than 100 different working time models. Among other things, these models allow executives to work part-time or with flexible home office solutions. In periods of challenging personal situations, for instance when associates need to care for family members, Bosch supports its associates with both short and long-term solutions.
“Work/life balance is becoming increasingly important for our associates, as working time is also a part of life,” says Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Bosch. “Our corporate culture aims to promote a flexible working culture that considers family obligations just as important as work-related responsibilities.”
More information on the New Work Award can be found here (only available in German).
Picture source: BrauerPhotos (M. Nass) for Hubert Burda Media.
Bosch supports women in leadership positions
In Germany, it is still relatively unusual for women to hold leadership positions. This is something Bosch wants to change. Since 2010, the company has been working hard to support female specialists and executives and boost their numbers within the Group. After all, actively recruiting talented female graduates and qualified engineers helps Bosch counter any shortage of specialists. What’s more, there is clear evidence that mixed-sex teams work more efficiently and develop better solutions. The company’s stated target is for 20 percent of all executive positions worldwide to be filled by women by 2020.
To spark interest in the company among female young professionals and optimize their career development opportunities, Bosch has set up a number of special mentoring and support programs. These include the Business Women’s Program, a training initiative for female specialists and executives that focuses on negotiation strategies and career planning.
Women who wish to combine their careers with family life also receive special support. Cornelia Giessler, for instance, is a platform manager in the field of gasoline direct injection at Bosch and is currently expecting her second child. Just as she did after the birth of her first son, she wants to be able to return to her job full-time after half a year off – with Bosch childcare provision ensuring the flexibility she needs.
Video only available in German
Her colleague Anja Melsheimer joined Bosch after studying aerospace technology. She is now a team leader in the Mobility Solutions division, as well as a mother. Among other factors, she owes her career to her flexible working hours – since the birth of her sons, Anja Melsheimer has worked on a part-time basis and has therefore not needed to take any long breaks from the job. “It is thanks to this professional experience that I am now able to continue progressing in my career, even at 40.”
Video only available in German
Karina Metzdorf, meanwhile, heads a department of 80 associates in the field of Engineering Testing for Reliability. She believes that one reason why there are fewer women in technology-related careers is that they often lack the necessary role models: “Bosch needs to have more women in executive positions. I never had a woman as my boss, for example.” Her main advice to young women is not to be afraid of studying engineering. “We’re always told that engineering is difficult – but all subjects are difficult. So just believe in yourselves, girls!”
You can find out more about equal opportunities at Bosch in Germany here.