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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.
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).
Bosch India provides warm meals to underprivileged school children
In India, many needy families face a dilemma: if they send their children to school, they often have too little money left over to pay for food. And if children have to work, they do not have access to education, cannot learn an occupation, and thus cannot escape poverty.
In order to provide these children with educational opportunities, Bosch India is supporting the construction of a canteen kitchen not far from the city of Bengaluru. As soon as February, the kitchen is set to start delivering warm lunches to 15,000 school children each day in the vicinity of the new Bosch manufacturing site in Bidadi. There are many state schools in the region that are attended mainly by children from poor families. “With the offer of a warm meal, we are providing families with an incentive to send their children to school,” explains Om Parkash Goel of Bosch India. “But we are also creating jobs: we need 80 employees to run the kitchen.” In addition to funding the project and providing all the required utensils, Bosch has also supported the project with its expertise in the areas of project and purchasing management.
The Indian NGO Akshaya Patra (“food bowl”) has carried out the project. The foundation has supported the education of underprivileged children since 2000 by providing them warm, healthy meals. Today, the organization offers lunch to as many as 1.7 million children at 13,529 schools each day. It has a far-reaching logistical network and expertise in preparing and distributing food for canteen kitchens. While Akshaya Patra is funded with state subsidies, corporate donations are an indispensable part of its budget. Bosch was referred to the Akshaya Patra Foundation by associates that volunteer for the NGO.
More information on the Akshaya Patra Foundation can be found here.
Picture by Akshaya Patra Foundation.