Workforce diversity has fundamental value to the Schaeffler Group. Diversity promotes lateral and divergent thinking – key prerequisites for innovation and flexibility. These are essential for Schaeffler in order to successfully handle the major changes that will affect the company and its customers in the future. In addition, diversity is a key factor for a company with global business relationships in order to recognize and serve the needs of culturally diverse markets.
Strategically promoting diversity
In order to anchor the topic successively in the company, the diversity concept adopted by the Executive Board in 2017 was strategically aligned. The main topics are gender, internationality, age/generations, and persons with disabilities. In implementing sustainable diversity management, Schaeffler focused on transforming the existing diversity concept into a sustainable strategy in 2018. Among other things, the focus was on integrating the topic into existing HR processes such as employer branding, recruiting, and talent management. The topic of diversity management will also be included in the onboarding process in the future. For 2019, cooperation with the individual managers of HR processes will be intensified in order to determine their needs and derive sustainable measures for them. Furthermore, Schaeffler is working on defining a reporting structure by 2020 and to develop possible diversity indicators.
Schaeffler signed the “Charta der Vielfalt” (diversity charter) back in 2008. Diversity and equal opportunities were integrated in the Code of Conduct – combined with the obligation to promote their implementation at the company. This attitude was reaffirmed by the Executive Board in 2018 with Schaeffler AG joining the “Charta der Vielfalt” association.
Promoting top female performers
In 2018, measures were initiated for each of the four focus topics of the diversity concept. Particular attention was paid to the focus area of “Gender” in the reporting period. Among other things, Schaeffler has started to expand the global mentoring concept with women’s mentoring.
In addition, top female performers are highlighted in color in overviews of the succession planning and the percentage distribution of male and female candidates is pointed out. When it comes to finding new employees, more attention is paid to gender issues.
In 2018, the proportion of women in the Schaeffler Group was 22.0% (prior year: 21.7%) and the proportion of female managers1) was 13.2% (prior year: 12.4%). As of June 30, 2017, target ratios for the proportion of women were set within Schaeffler AG. The target rates are an 8% proportion of women on the first and a 12% proportion of women on the second management level below the Executive Board. Schaeffler AG should reach these goals by June 30, 2022.
Women in technical professions
Schaeffler wants to inspire girls and young women to enter technical careers and draw their attention to their career opportunities at an early stage. Therefore, the company is committed to girls’ school education in STEM subjects. In 2018, for example, around 40 workshops for girls from grade 8 to 12 were held at the Schweinfurt location. The workshops were offered together with the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt. The Schaeffler Group opens its doors in Austria and Hungary each year on “Girls’ Day”, offering young women interested in technology a glimpse into the everyday reality of the workplace and professions they might one day choose to pursue.
Excellent female talent
In 2018, a Schaeffler employee received the “Digital Female Leader Award” (DFLA) in the “Career” category. Altogether, eleven categories were considered for the award in which female employees played a key role in advancing topics such as digitalization and sustainability in their organization. At the German-Italian economic forum WOMENOMICS in June 2018, the Schaeffler Group also presented several best-practice approaches in the field of diversity. The presentation took place as part of the activities on the “internationality” focus area. Schaeffler was a platinum sponsor of the event.
The added value of cultural diversity
Internationality is also one of the four focus topics of diversity management, as the Schaeffler Group employs people from 110 different countries worldwide. In 2017, an intercultural network was established that was actively supported in 2018 and continues to grow. The goal is to network employees across national borders. The possibilities for interaction and cooperation offered by the Schaeffler CONNECT intranet are used to this end.
An intercultural exchange also occurs through the temporary posting of employees to foreign branches. The expatriates (expats) are highly qualified specialists and executives who support the transfer of knowledge between locations and different markets. In 2018, a total of 331 expats were dispatched within the Schaeffler Group.
Old and young: Exchanging experience offers added value
Four generations meet at the workplace at Schaeffler as well. All of the generations have different attitudes towards work, values, norms, and priorities. The pilot phase for the “reverse mentoring” program was carried out in the reporting year. This program serves to promote the exchange of experiences between generations. The concept will be further developed and will be rolled out worldwide as part of the global mentoring program in 2019.
Enriching: people with disabilities
95% of all disabilities occur during the course of life, and thereby also during working life. People with disabilities need individually tailored working conditions so that they can perform their work or continue their work after the onset of a disability. Schaeffler specifically identifies jobs that already meet these requirements or develops existing jobs as needed. In 2018, the discussion between Diversity Management and the Representative Board for Disabled Persons was intensified in order to strengthen networking and promote joint projects.
1) “Managers” are defined as employees in a supervisory function.