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News | Acceptance rather than tolerance

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.

News | Family-friendly work

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.

News | “Believe in yourselves, girls!”

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.  

News | Girls do science

Female school students explore STEM careers at Bosch
 
 
Controlling a robot or flying a drone – why not? At the end of July, some 70 female school students were invited behind the scenes at the Bosch plant in Charleston, South Carolina. As part of the “Girls’ Day out Education and Business Expo”, the students had the chance to visit various companies and explore careers that have traditionally been dominated by men. The event was designed to get girls interested in the four “STEM” subjects – science, technology, engineering, and math. 
 
The Bosch “Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic” in Charleston was one of the many companies that opened its doors to the students for the day. The associates had prepared an exciting range of activities for the girls, including computer programming and using a skateboard model to explore how an anti-lock braking system (ABS) works. A “dress-for-success” fashion show was also staged to demonstrate the kinds of clothing most suitable for work.
 
Diversity is key to the success enjoyed by Bosch – for instance, there is clear evidence that mixed-sex teams work more efficiently and develop better products. It is therefore crucial for the company to attract and support female staff. The aim is for 20 percent of all executive positions worldwide to be filled by women by 2020.
 
You can find out more about diversity at Bosch here.
 
More information on equal opportunities at Bosch can be found here.
 

News | This is what diversity looks like at Bosch

Impressions from the 2nd Bosch Diversity Day
 
 
The 2nd Bosch Diversity Day took place on May 21, 2015. At more than 200 locations around the world, associates took part in a broad range of events that addressed the various aspects of diversity at Bosch: gender, generations, internationality, and culture are the main pillars of Bosch’s diversity vision. The company’s aim is to promote a corporate culture that values all associates and encourages them to reach their full potential. 
 
The activities held around the world were as diverse as the Bosch workforce.
 
Vietnam: A dialog with senior executives 
 
In order to raise awareness of diversity-related topics, senior executives at the Don Nai location answered a number of questions from the audience.
 
Russia: Experiencing diversity outside the office
 
At the Engels location in Russia, around 150 associates took part in the diversity flash mob.
 
Practice makes perfect: With children from neighborhoods close to the Bosch location, associates showed what diversity means to them with drawings on the pavement.
 
India: The colorful pictures of a diverse workforce
 
To commemorate major celebrations and events, people in India make Rangolis. This traditional craft involves making intricate images with a variety of materials, including colored sand, rice, or flowers. At Bosch Diversity Day, the Ahmedabad and Chennai locations organized a Rangoli contest that called on associates to illustrate cultural diversity at Bosch. To mark the occasion, many associates wore traditional clothing from their home regions.
 
60 associates created imaginative images – while they were as different as the artists who made them, they were an expression of community nonetheless. 
 
Germany: Promoting diversity with associate networks
 
From 50plus@Bosch and women@bosch to the cam@bosch network in Cameroon: Bosch associates are active in a number of networks that promote knowledge sharing and communication across the company. On Diversity Day, the networks active at the Reutlingen location introduced themselves at an information market. Associates then had the opportunity to socialize with each other at a summer party that the associate networks held after the event. 
 
Representatives of associates with severe disabilities took part in the Reutlingen information market for the first time.
 
Bosch associates doing Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, at the summer party in Reutlingen.
 
Associate networks were also active at the Karlsruhe location.
 
Among other things, associates in Karlsruhe were invited to learn about Indian culture and enjoy Indian foods.
 
Are career opportunities limited and tasks less challenging for people working part time? Not at Bosch! The company offers part-time work models for specialists and executives. The family@bosch and women@bosch associate networks addressed this topic in a dialog with managers, experts, and associates.
 
A conversation on the topics of diversity, part-time work, and careers at Bosch.
 
For more information on the second annual global Bosch Diversity Day, please consult our blog post from May 21. More information on the topic of diversity can be found on the Bosch Diversity website.