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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 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.
Sustainable development by 2030
The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) entered into force at the beginning of 2016, and include targets such as eliminating poverty, ensuring universal high-quality education, and designing more sustainable cities. The UN has set the ambitious aim of reaching these targets by 2030, thus enabling people to live a life of dignity, promoting progress, and protecting the environment. Not only have the SDGs provided a valuable point of reference for policymakers, but also for the private sector, especially when it comes to protecting human rights, upholding labor standards, and protecting the environment. This is why Bosch has based the structure of the Sustainability Report 2016 on the SDGs, presenting the individual measures that the company has taken in the respective categories.
How does Bosch contribute to sustainable social change? The company’s “Invented for life” leitmotiv illustrates that Bosch not only aims to secure its long-term success with innovative products and services, it also intends to help protect the livelihoods of current and future generations. Bosch sees major opportunities in its core business – namely in the areas of connectivity, powertrain electrification, and energy efficiency. The company’s activities in these areas have determined which SDGs Bosch supports: health and safety (SDG 3), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), and CO2 reduction measures (SDG 13). In addition to this, the Bosch commitment to social well-being has helped improve access to education (SDG 4) and promotes peace and justice (SDG 16).
In 2016, Bosch reached the following milestones:
• 30.6 percent fewer CO2 emissions (relative to value added) compared with 2007 (target: 35 percent 2020)
• 15.4 percent of management positions were filled with women (target by 2020: 20 percent)
• 614 environmental and occupational safety audits have been carried out at Bosch suppliers since 2010 (target: 1,000 by 2020)
More information on the ways in which Bosch is supporting the SDGs and what the company has achieved as a result can be found in our Sustainability Report 2016.
Robert Bosch Stiftung promotes volunteerism among young Muslims in Germany
Developments at Robert Bosch Stiftung
Within the framework of the “Yallah!” program, young Muslim volunteers aim to provide insights into their religion and initiate a dialog with non-Muslims. In March, 20 participants met for a two-day conference in Berlin, at which they shared ideas and learned more about fundraising, press work, and organizational development.
One of them is Yasser Haji Mohamad from Aleppo, Syria. He has lived in Mötzingen, southern Germany, for more than a year. “We have to talk more about Islam,” says the 19-year-old, who would like to study medicine in Germany. To this end, together with his friend Mehmet Arslan, he stared a “mobile dialog tent” in which Muslims can talk about Islam in German with one another. Non-Muslims can also take a quiz to find out more about the religion. Visitors to the tent have shown a great deal of interest and curiosity. “They want to know why we fast and ask questions about the role of women,” says Yasser. To him, painting a positive image of Islam is very important.
Hafssa El-Bouhamouchi, a 24-year-old from Bielefed, would also like people to gain a better understanding of her religion. With her team from the Hanover chapter of Muslimische Jugend in Deutschland e.V. (young Muslims in Germany), she has organized the “Tea Time” event series, which which sees Muslims invite non-Muslims for a cup of tea. The series has received funding from the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs. “Muslims must take ownership of the discourse about Islam once again,” says El-Bouhamouchi, who holds a degree in Islamic Studies. “We must speak up and help eliminate prejudice.”
Robert Bosch Stiftung supports the project within the framework of its “Yallah! Junge Muslime engagieren sich” (Young Muslims Volunteer) program, which funds projects and initiatives of young Muslims who want to make a difference in their surroundings. The selected projects receive 5,000 euros in funding. In addition, the Stiftung invites project representatives to take part in a two-day project management seminar, during which they learn skills in writing funding applications, fund management, and public relations.
More information on “Yallah!” can be found here.
Information for people who would like to apply for financial support from Robert Bosch Stiftung for their projects can be found here.
Bosch associates spark enthusiasm for technology and a start-up culture
More knowledge, more ability, a better future – for more than ten years, this has been the motto of “Wissensfabrik - Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V.“ (Knowledge Factory: Companies for Germany). The initiative focuses on two areas. The first is education, and the aim here is to get children and young people interested in technology and business. With entrepreneurship, Wissenfabrik’s second sphere of activity, the initiative caters to students and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. In order to promote a start-up culture in Germany, Wissensfabrik brings start-ups and established market actors together and provides them with intensive knowledge-sharing opportunities.
As one of the founding members of Wissensfabrik, Bosch is actively involved in a number of projects. The active participation of its associates in these projects is one of the company’s priorities. Some 100 associates, among them senior executives, contribute their time as mentors or trainers across Germany each year. There are also 500 apprentices who help spark enthusiasm for science and technology. One example of a successful project is “KiTec – Kinder erleben Technik” (KiTec: Children experience technology), within the framework of which Bosch cooperates with 225 schools and daycare centers. Together with the apprentices, children work on their own technical projects such as homemade insect hotels or treasure chests. In the new “IT2School” project, apprentices introduce schoolchildren to digital learning. At present, Bosch engages in around 300 educational partnerships with daycare centers and schools.
Bosch executives advise start-ups and students
Students and start-ups also benefit from the initiative: thanks to mentoring programs, young entrepreneurs can present their innovative, technology-oriented ideas to experienced executives, who provide feedback and advice to up-and-coming companies. For instance, Franz Fehrenbach, the chairman of the Bosch supervisory board, is active in the Weconomy start-up competition, where he spends a weekend supporting the candidates as an advisor. Until now, 180 start-ups have received valuable mentoring support through the Wissensfabrik.
Since it was founded in 2005, the initiative has cooperated with around 2,500 schools and daycare centers. 700,000 children across Germany have benefited from a range of projects that have enabled them to develop their creativity, their teamwork skills, and their inventiveness. In order to guarantee high-quality programs, the Wissensfabrik cooperates with universities. Moreover, scientists evaluate the pedagogical value of the learning materials and give their stamp of approval before they are used.
More information on the Wissensfabrik can be found here (only in German available).