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Bosch Diversity Day emphasizes the importance of diversity
On April 26, more than 400,000 associates at 125 Bosch locations around the world took part in the fifth annual international Bosch Diversity Day festivities over a period of 24 hours. The event aims to showcase the Bosch Group’s diversity with a broad range of initiatives, workshops, and dialogs. All associates around the globe were invited to participate at their respective locations, and to contribute their ideas. Many of them took the opportunity to learn more about colleagues with different cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and world views. They also became more aware of the importance of diversity for the company’s success.
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The “You made my Day” initiative was held at seven locations in Germany and Poland. Bosch associates were asked to write about “Who makes your day and why?” on postcards and send them to their colleagues around the world to express their appreciation. The cards were then distributed on Diversity Day. “We are all different, and these differences matter,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Being aware of and appreciating our differences can benefit our day-to-day work, and is increasingly a decisive success factor. We thus need everyone’s commitment in this regard.”
Bosch associates celebrate the diversity day in Dubai.
Gaining a better understanding of ourselves
Another Diversity Day highlight was the “Unconscious Bias“ workshop that was held at locations around the world, where participants learned more about their own unconscious thought patterns. While these patterns help people make quick decisions in their everyday lives, they can also be based on stereotypes and clichés. By becoming aware of one’s own thought patterns, interactions with colleagues and peers can be improved. In the Czech Republic, Bosch associates wrote down their own unconscious bias on cards and then attached them to balloons to symbolically send them off forever. This was just one of many Diversity Day events that took place around the globe
Bosch associates in Austria support refugees in their everyday lives
In 2015, more than one million people filed for asylum in Europe. This was one of the biggest migration movements in the continent’s history, and it was met with an unprecedented willingness to help. Bosch was among those who offered support, and it has since kept up its commitment to helping refugees in the process of integration. In 2015, Bosch associates donated some 400,000 euros, and the company more than doubled the total sum. The funds have gone toward supporting over 100 refugee aid initiatives. One of them is the “Support vor Ort: Bosch-MitarbeiterInnen helfen!” (Local support: Bosch associates are helping out). The project was launched at the Vienna location at the end of 2015. It is based on the idea that successful integration requires a lasting commitment. For two years now, Bosch associates have helped people who have been granted refugee status navigate the challenges of daily life in Austria.
Today, 25 volunteers support 40 children and their families with visits to the authorities. They also act as confidants and help refugees build new friendships in their host community. Ultimately, the initiative aims to help participants help themselves, enabling them to lead an independent life in a new country. At the first meeting in wintery Vienna, most of the participants were “still very shy and didn’t speak much,” says Joanna Hummelbrunner, head of HR at Bosch Austria and the project’s initiator. One of the first steps was to find a German teacher for the Vienna location.
Since then, language barriers have largely been overcome. What is more, the project inspired Bosch associates to offer extra help in other subjects as well. Their efforts have borne fruit: some of the project participants have found permanent jobs in Austria at ÖBB, Eurest, Fond Soziales Wien, amongst others. In fact, 6 of them now work at Bosch. Project participants often engage in activities beyond job-related initiatives: the project has been a guest at coffee houses, and participants have organized an Afghan dinner, played in a soccer tournament, and spent an evening at Vienna’s Prater amusement park. Johanna Hummelbrunner is pleased with the results of the project: “The people we supported have really developed and been able to integrate on an educational and professional level. In so doing, they have not only learned a great deal, they have also made friends that they may keep for life.”
More information about the project can be found here
Bosch associates support “Cents for help”
With the “Cents for help” project, Bosch associates donate the cents of their net pay: the amount behind the decimal point goes to a charitable cause, and the company then doubles every donated cent. Last year, this added up to 720,000 euros that benefited 152 charities, both in Germany and around the world. Some projects received up to 50,000 euros. Associates can offer suggestions as to which charities they want to support. In some cases, the money goes to initiatives that the associates themselves also volunteer for. As three examples show, small donations have a large impact.
Associates help local projects
Donations from “Cents for help” cover material costs at the Harl.e.kin aftercare center, which is run by Lebenshilfe Bamberg e.V. Harl.e.kin provides support for families with premature infants or other cases of high-risk births. It also offers counselling, helping parents with the transition from the hospital to their home. In Homburg, donations went to a Ronald McDonald house, where families with critically ill children have a place to stay temporarily. By donating, the Bosch associates make it easier for parents to visit their sick children when they are receiving treatment at the nearby university hospital. The Bosch initiative also supports the “Go away!” theater project, “an initiative run by the regional youth organization in Kitzingen, Bavaria. The project aims to prevent sexual abuse against children. The play tries to teach elementary school children how to react in dangerous situations.
Learning from theater: what can I do in a threatening situation?
Seventy percent of Bosch associates already support “Cents for help”. As the examples show, their donations are worthwhile. The small individual sums that each associate contributes add up to large donations that help local projects.
More information on how Bosch associates contribute to social well-being can be found here
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.