For the first time ever, Bosch had invited its more than 280,000 associates to take part in a day of action promoting diversity and equal opportunities.
The global provider of technology and services held its first “Bosch Diversity Day” at more than 200 locations around the world. The aim of the event was to highlight the potential of diversity within the Bosch Group over a period of 24 hours. To this end, the company organized participatory activities, discussion forums, and networking events. Bosch sees different people, cultures, experiences, and perspectives as an important stimulus for productivity and innovative strength. The company has already received a number of awards for its commitment to diversity, most recently the German Diversity Prize.
In the Middle East, the company organized the diversity day where 24 nationalities participated and presented their countries. Also, the associates wore their traditional dresses, brought their tasty dishes, and explained the cultures and traditions of their countries. This event was a huge success and increased the bond between the associates, which will help the overall performance.
Appreciation of associate diversity
“Different ways of thinking and a broad range of perspectives are an asset to our company. They allow us to deliver better results for our customers and are the foundation of our business success,” said Christoph Kübel, member of the board of management and director of industrial relations at Robert Bosch GmbH. “With our global day of action, we want to show once again that we embrace our associates’ commonalities and differences.” At the same time, he said, an appreciation of diversity promotes a work environment based on mutual understanding and openness.
The four dimensions of diversity management
Company founder Robert Bosch emphasized the importance of cultural diversity early on. Today, the principle of diversity is firmly anchored in the Bosch strategy, and includes the dimensions of age, sex, internationality, and working culture. Working culture occupies a particularly important position, for instance: different working models aim to help meet the needs of associates across national, divisional, and cultural boundaries. These models allow associates to strike a healthy balance between their career goals and personal aims. In addition, diverse working models promote equal opportunities between men and women.
Doing business successfully with mixed teams
Mixed teams help Bosch meet a range of customer needs with the best possible solutions and products. Bosch files thousands of patents each year. In 2013, the figure was 5,000, or some 20 per working day. “A successful approach to diversity cannot be imposed,” said Volker Bischoff, who is in charge of global diversity management at Bosch.
“This is why we offer our associates many possibilities to experience diversity on a regular basis in their day-to-day work.”
By 2020, Bosch aims to fill 20% of its management positions with women. Today, one in eight executives are female.
“In some countries, we have already exceeded our target. Teams with members of different ages are also increasingly common at Bosch. While the average age of Bosch associates in Europe is 40, in the Asian growth markets it is around 25.
Diverse working culture, more internationality
Bosch is also making its management team even more international. Outside of Germany, the share of local executives will be at least 80 percent in the future. At present, some 6,000 Bosch associates are working outside their home countries. Their assignments serve knowledge-sharing purposes, and allow associates to gain new skills and intercultural experience.