Diversity, employees, and people development

  • The Schaeffler Group is investing extensively in training and education to promote future-oriented, targeted transformation
  • In the reporting year, the company conducted an employee survey to reinforce commitment and identify potential for improvement

Workforce at a glance

Part of NFB StartThe Schaeffler Group views the development of its employees as an investment not only in the future of each and every one of them but also in the company’s competitiveness. The goal of Human Resources Management is to acquire and support the best employees as well as retain them over the long term as an attractive employer. To achieve these targets, the Schaeffler Group relies on innovative processes, systems, and instruments for modern human resources management. For example, the global launch of SAP Success Factors was initiated, and the processes for Performance & Goal Management, Succession & Development, Recruiting, Compensation, and Onboarding were consistently supported and standardized in the system.

The human resources strategy consists of five core elements: (1) employer branding and recruiting, (2) talent management, (3) management and company values, (4) training and learning, and (5) occupational health and safety and environmental protection. There are also three overarching action fields: (1) diversity, (2) strategic HR planning, and (3) digitalization. Each of the departments reports central developments to the Chief Human Resources Officer at regular intervals.

Distribution of employees by region1)

1) The regions represent the regional structure of the Schaeffler Group.


employees worldwide

The Schaeffler Group had 82,773 (prior year: 82,981) employees on December 31, 2022. At 12.2 years (prior year: 12.2), average employee tenure in the Schaeffler Group remained unchanged in 2022. The average age of employees was 40.9 (prior year: 40.8).Part of NFB End

Attractive workplace

Part of NFB Start As a global family business, the Schaeffler Group makes every effort to achieve the best work–life balance possible with family-friendly rules. In fact, conditions are available for remote working throughout all of the Schaeffler regions, with formal rules defined by regionally and locally applicable guidelines and regulations. In Germany, the Schaeffler Group makes an effort to enable hybrid work models based on responsibilities, business requirements, and personal preferences through its “Future of Work” initiative. Managers are responsible for implementing these hybrid work models.

A “Future of Work” guide, containing information and tips on implementation, is available to all managers and employees. All employees can also refer to a workshop concept to develop a team-based work model, a concept that includes job sharing models structured in coordination with a manager. In close consultation, a full-time position can be split between two people, who then share the responsibilities.

To accommodate individual requirements such as caring for family members, the company enables all employees in Germany to reduce their working hours with an income adjustment. When it comes to parental leave, the company complies with legal provisions, which are complemented by regional programs that, for example, allow employees to work from home after their parental leave. A mentoring program for re-entry after parental leave is available for managers and, following consultation, for employees without management responsibilities.

Depending on their requirements, older employees have the option to shorten or extend their employment. Since early retirement is often associated with a decrease in subsequent retirement income, the Schaeffler Group can increase payment into retirement with collective bargaining agreements in Germany, thus minimizing reductions in income upon retirement.Part of NFB End


Part of NFB Start The Schaeffler Group makes every effort to ensure fair wages for all employees. Remuneration is structured in a way to acquire and hold on to talented individuals and reward good performance. Since rules differ around the world, remuneration is structured on a country-by-country basis. Just about every Schaeffler location uses either collective agreements or payment systems that have been agreed on with the Works Councils through a company agreement. Each location also observes the legally guaranteed minimum wage in the respective labor markets as well as principles such as equal pay.

The Schaeffler Group uses a job assessment system to enable comparison of the individual countries. This system guarantees that remuneration is defined free of discrimination on the basis of functions in the local markets. As established in the , the company is dedicated to ensuring an unprejudiced working environment that appreciates everyone. Varying pay for virtually the same job description is primarily the result of work experience, expertise, and performance. In Germany, annual performance reviews and the variable non-tariff remuneration system are examples of selective, performance-based remuneration components. A profit-sharing model is in use in the Greater China region.Part of NFB End

Considering the workforce’s interests

Part of NFB Start All employees have the freedom to express their concerns directly. The company also pursues constructive interaction with employee representatives, based on trust.

The company respects the right of its employees to freedom of association and to negotiate collective bargaining agreements, which is established in the Schaeffler Group Code of Conduct. Because collective bargaining agreements are subject to country-specific provisions, these are negotiated locally. Collective bargaining agreements cover around 97% (prior year: 98.0%) of all the employees in Germany.

The Schaeffler Group is interested in working with advocacy groups to shape the fundamental transformation taking place in the sector and identify balanced solutions. The company’s approach to any necessary job cuts is as socially compatible as possible, implementing rules on partial retirement and severance agreements with the understanding of both parties. Internal relocation and normal fluctuation are also used as instruments.

Employee feedback is key to ensuring successful, sustainable transformation of the sector. In 2022, the Schaeffler Group conducted a survey of all employees1) to reinforce employee engagement and identify potential for improvement. The online survey was available in more than 50 countries and 22 languages, thus ensuring that all employees would be able to participate in the survey. Evaluated on the basis of both internal and external benchmarks, the survey focused on topics such as a sense of belonging, equal opportunity, empowerment, leadership, collaboration, and communication. On the whole, the results reveal a high degree of employee satisfaction as well as high identification with the company. Global and local measures should help to implement the identified potential for improvement. In the future, the survey will be conducted on an annual basis.Part of NFB End

Diversity and equal opportunity

Part of NFB Start The Schaeffler Group values the diversity of experience and backgrounds of its employees and views these as the global organization’s strengths. Everything that sets employees apart and makes them unique is what promotes innovation and will make the Schaeffler Group more competitive in the future, which is why the company is making every effort to create a working environment free from discrimination, intimidation, and harassment. The company implements a variety of global measures to promote equal rights and a sense of belonging and thus ensure that all employees feel that they are valued and have the freedom to contribute their experience and ideas.

Based on the pillars of commitment, awareness, and transparency, the diversity and strategy aims to firmly establish diversity management at the company, make it more visible, and reinforce the issue’s importance across all levels and, most importantly, on a management level. In 2017, the Schaeffler AG set target ratios for the proportion of women in top management – the first two levels below the Executive Board – with the aim of achieving them by 2022. These were 8% women on the first and 12% women on the second management level. These targets were achieved ahead of schedule in 2020 and 2021. To reinforce the issue throughout the entire company, a target ratio of 20% was introduced for top management in the Schaeffler Group for the first time in 2022 and should be achieved by the end of 2025. The proportion of women in top management positions was at 15.0% in the reporting year. Contrary to previous sustainability reporting, the scope of women in management positions was adjusted in the reporting year. The proportion of women in top management positions is reported in accordance with the Schaeffler goal.

Proportion of female employees in the Schaeffler Group

To promote gender diversity at the company, female students and talented female employees have access to targeted mentoring programs with a variety of focuses such as e-mobility and STEM2) subjects. Regular exchange as well as workshops and events provide them with valuable insight into company practices. Like these internal programs, collaboration with external companies and associations also aims to help women develop multi-sector networks and fill higher management positions.Part of NFB End

Commitment: diversity and inclusion as part of the corporate culture

The Schaeffler Group signed the Charta der Vielfalt () in 2008 and has been an active member of the association with the same name since 2018 in order to continue developing its diversity and inclusion activities. There are also exchange events with automotive suppliers every two months as well as multi-sector events on topics such as wage equality and gender-sensitive language at irregular intervals.

Above all else, the company’s diversity management attempts to promote diversity at the company and prevent discrimination, for which the serves as a central policy. The corresponding department is closely connected to other relevant areas such as the global complaints office for cases of discrimination, the German offices for equal treatment and diversity, the Strategy and Health Management departments.

Training content called for by the General Act on Equal Treatment is also offered for managers and employees in Germany. The “Respect at Work” training was piloted in the Asia/Pacific region in the reporting year and, following evaluation, may be offered to all employees around the world as of 2023. To promote diversity and , the Schaeffler Group has also established a global Council” consisting of members of the Schaeffler Group Executive Board as well as selected managers. In addition, the Asia/Pacific and Greater China regions have regional councils, making it possible to optimally accommodate the employees’ local and different cultural requirements and circumstances.

Awareness: differences and similarities as a foundation for shared success

Introduced in 2021, D&I training for managers on the first two levels below the Executive Board was also offered on a regular basis in 2022 to provide new managers with the opportunity to take part. All employees can also complete web based courses on “diversity and inclusion basics and skills” and “unconscious bias” at any time. Team workshops on equal opportunity and inclusion were offered upon request.

In 2022, the Schaeffler Group organized its first global “Diversity & Inclusion” month. In more than 40 meetings, internal and external speakers introduced a variety of D&I aspects and thus helped to improve understanding and visibility of the issue, with more than 2,000 employees around the world taking part.

Transparency: consistent achievement of targets

The Schaeffler AG set target ratios for the proportion of women on June 30, 2017, with the aim of achieving them by June 30, 2022. These were 8% women on the first and 12% women on the second management level below the Executive Board. These targets were achieved in 2020 and 2021, with proportions at 18.5% for the first management level and 26.4% for the second at the end of June 2022.

To reinforce equal rights at the company, the Executive Board expanded the target values for the proportion of women on the two management levels below the Executive Board to the entire Schaeffler Group in March 2022. Accordingly, the goal is to increase the proportion of female managers in top management worldwide to 20% by the end of 2025. The proportion of women in top management positions was at 15.0% in 2022.3)

Employee advancement and development

Part of NFB Start The Schaeffler Group’s sustainability activities play an important role in attracting new employees to the company. The company also relies on target group-oriented formats in employer branding and marketing for vocational training. In the reporting year, the Schaeffler Group initiated a global employer branding campaign to reinforce the employer brand. A globally attractive employer brand is essential when it comes to motivating employees, acquiring new talented minds, and ensuring company loyalty over the long term. Additional measures include the following:

  • Participation in (virtual) information days and events
  • Collaboration with schools, universities, student bodies and associations, and organizations
  • Many years of activity as the primary sponsor of Formula Student Germany

Like employer branding, the company also views recruiting as a key component for continued success in the future despite a challenging labor market. The “Talent Attraction” initiative accommodates both aspects on a global level to ensure the Schaeffler Group’s competitiveness.

The Schaeffler Group increasingly relies on active sourcing as targeted approach to contacting and acquiring the desired talents. Schaeffler recruiters have been systematically addressing new talents in Germany since 2020. During the year of this report the approach was further professionalized and introduced as a pilot project in the Central & Eastern Europe region. The existing talent management process enables new and internally nurtured talented individuals to shape their development and career on their own initiative in line with the “Drive your Career” philosophy.

The Performance & Goal Management process is transparent for employees, designed to promote their performance and ongoing development. Managers and employees agree on individual targets and discuss behavior, the necessary skills for a career in the Schaeffler Group, and development measures that are relevant for both the current position and the potential next step in their career.

“Career & Succession Discussions” take place annually on this basis to discuss potential future career steps as well as early succession for key positions in the company.Part of NFB End

High-quality training opportunities

Part of NFB Start The Schaeffler Group not only develops its training courses on a continuous basis in an effort to achieve high quality, but also established and gradually implemented a global apprenticeship strategy in close coordination with the various regions. In particular, this strategy defines the focus areas of conduct as well as training principles that, along with the Schaeffler values and the “Employee Essentials”, describe the training culture in the Schaeffler Group. To acquaint trainers and apprentices with the strategy and implement the principles, a variety of activities were planned and carried out in collaboration with the regions. For example, the “Global Annual Apprenticeship Day” was held in 2022 for the first time as a kickoff event. In line with the motto “Success needs to be celebrated”, the aim was to honor the successes of Schaeffler apprentices and students as well as reinforce global exchange and the sense of belonging.

Schaeffler Group training uses modern learning environments and current learning methods to support apprentices’ and students’ self-learning expertise and prepare them for lifelong learning as a part of their professional life. One area of focus is virtual learning through virtual and augmented reality as well as its integration into hybrid and blended-learning scenarios.

In 2022, the company employed 2,469 apprentices4) (prior year: 2,643) at 41 locations in 16 countries worldwide. This includes 382 (prior year: 394) students. The company also employs 60 (prior year: 52) trainees worldwide. This increase is primarily the result of the growing number of participants in trainee programs in the Greater China region.

Trainee programs are available for young employees with above-average degrees in just about every region in the Schaeffler Group and prepare them for a career in the company with targeted rotation, network meetings, and accompanying training courses and mentoring.Part of NFB End

Apprentices, students, and trainees1)








Trainees in apprenticeship, total2)







Of which students, total3)







Trainees, total








Key indicators for the reporting year in assessment scope for the first time.


People with academic or nonacademic qualifications.


Dual students, master’s degree students, and “Two in One” students. The “Two in One” study program combines a bachelor’s degree with vocational training.

Qualification of employees

Part of NFB Start The organized re- and upskilling for employees as global qualification programs consisting of modular training options with defined learning paths that consider the target groups’ different backgrounds and areas of experience. While “Fit4Mechatronics” targets development and application engineers and “Fit4Production” is directed at production employees, the “Fit4Digital” program is available to the entire workforce.

This gives Schaeffler Group employees the opportunity to complete training courses independent of time and place. The dedicated Learning Management System (LMS) used at the company is available in 51 countries, achieving a coverage rate of 99.9%5) (prior year: 99.8%) of the total workforce. There were 360 web-based training courses (prior year: 250) available to employees worldwide in the reporting year. 93,725 people (prior year: 169,795) participated in e-learning courses in 2022. The drop is largely due to a decrease in the number of new obligatory training courses compared to the prior year. A total of 7,291 people (prior year: 4,553) also took part in classroom training sessions in Germany. These could be held more frequently in compliance with applicable hygiene measures.Part of NFB End

Qualification and training1)








Web-based training courses, total2)







Average number of hours of training and education per employee, total3)







Participants in e-learning courses, Germany, total2) 4)







Participants in classroom training sessions, Germany4) 5)








Key indicators for the reporting year in assessment scope for the first time.


Offered worldwide by Schaeffler Academy Germany.


Figure first calculated for 2021.


Participants may be counted more than once.


Offered by Schaeffler Academy Germany.

Sustainability training

Part of NFB Start The Schaeffler Group’s sustainability strategy can only be fulfilled successfully if all employees understand the larger context and actively support implementation, which is why the online Sustainability Roadmap training course was developed in 2021 with a focus on issues such as climate protection, sustainable supply chains, and occupational health and safety. The course has been available worldwide since May 2021 and is required for all Schaeffler Group employees6) who have access to the Schaeffler Academy training portal. In 2022, around 6,500 employees (prior year: 42,100) successfully completed the training course.

Since 2022, employees6) have also had the opportunity to expand their knowledge on climate protection in a voluntary online climate training course, with a particular focus on climate change in a company context, the basics of calculating CO2e emissions, and . In addition to providing insights into the company’s emission values, the course also introduces concrete measures with which the company plans to reduce its emissions. More than 6,600 managers and around 1,600 employees completed the training course in the reporting year.Part of NFB Ende

Leadership development

Part of NFB Start The Schaeffler Group’s Leadership Essentials define the behavior leaders across all levels should exemplify in daily collaboration. The following HR tools are designed accordingly:

  • Performance & Goals Management
  • Hiring process
  • Upward- und global 360° Feedback
  • Executive training

With the new “Leadership Inspiration” virtual format, the Center for Leadership Excellence expanded the portfolio of open events for all Schaeffler leaders around the world, regardless of the different working time models. More than 600 persons worldwide took part in the first event in April 2022. The second event of this format was held in mid-November 2022 with more than 500 participants.Part of NFB End

1) External employees, temporary workers, working students, and interns were not included in the survey.

2) The abbreviation STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

3) First reported in 2022.

4) Includes people with academic and nonacademic qualifications.

5) Relating to employees, total.

6) Temporary workers and groups of people without access to a computer were not included.

Code of Conduct (CoC)
The Code of Conduct (CoC) describes the values and principles of behaviour to be followed in letter and spirit by all employees of the Schaeffler Group. Compliance with the commands and prohibitions is also expected from the Schaeffler Group’s business partners.
All people, regardless of identity, background or experience, have equal opportunities and access to resources.
Environment, Social and Governance (ESG)
The Schaeffler Group considers factors impacting the company in the areas of environment, social affairs and corporate governance.
Diversity Charter
Corporate initiative to promote diversity in companies and institutions. Organizations should create a working environment that is free of prejudice. All employees should be valued – regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and identity.
Code of Conduct (CoC)
The Code of Conduct (CoC) describes the values and principles of behaviour to be followed in letter and spirit by all employees of the Schaeffler Group. Compliance with the commands and prohibitions is also expected from the Schaeffler Group’s business partners.
For the Schaeffler Group, doing business sustainably means using natural resources responsibly and sparingly so that they can also be used by future generations. Ten action fields were defined along the ESG framework (Environment, Social, and Governance) in order to strengthen this aspect of sustainability within the Schaeffler Group.. These action fields represent key topics for the Schaeffler Group and are backed by ambitious targets. The company takes the entire value chain into consideration in its operations.
All people, regardless of identity, background or experience, have equal opportunities and access to resources.
Diversity is expressed in terms of gender, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, as well as worldview and religion, among others.
Schaeffler Academy
The Schaeffler Academy combines all global activities from apprenticeship to training and qualification. It supports strategic corporate objectives, promotes a culture of lifelong learning and enables employees to achieve their professional and personal goals.
Climate neutrality
The Schaeffler Group has set itself the goal of reducing the climate impact of its corporate activities to an absolute minimum. Specific emission reduction targets have been set for this purpose: The production of the Schaeffler Group (Scope 1 and 2 market-based) will be climate-neutral by 2030, and by 2040, so will the remaining supply chain (Scope 3 upstream, categories 3.1, 3.3, 3.4). In both cases, this means an emission reduction within the respective scope of at least 90 % (base year 2019). Unavoidable emissions are offset by means of compensation measures. The extent and nature of these measures are to be determined in more detail by the respective target years (2030 and 2040).