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  5. United under the flag of diversity: Audi employees celebrate European Diversity Month

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United under the flag of diversity: Audi employees celebrate European Diversity Month

  • Various diversity campaigns at international production locations
  • Audi Board of Management Member for Human Resources Sabine Maassen: “A common understanding of diversity and inclusion makes us fit for the future and ensures our company’s success”
  • International diversity rollout in the Audi Group continues in 2021
The long-term goal is to make more effective use of the potential of diverse perspectives in the context of transformation together and to make targeted use of inclusion as a success factor.
Picture: Audi e-tron Sportback rendering

The month of May is devoted to diversity at the Audi Group. Employees have come up with various digital interactive events for Audi employees for German Diversity Day as part of the Diversity Charter on May 18. The focus will then shift to the activities of the international subsidiaries and production locations. The long-term goal is to make more effective use of the potential of diverse perspectives in the context of transformation together and to make targeted use of inclusion as a success factor.

Audi has implemented holistic Diversity Management since 2017 in order to breathe life into the Group Essential of “We live diversity.” This includes training courses on unconscious bias, toolboxes for inclusive leadership and equal-opportunity processes, as well as cooperations with external initiatives to promote diversity. This commitment is bearing fruit: For example, the company has already trained around 10,000 employees and managers/supervisors in diversity-related topics so far. Four diversity networks have been established for the purpose of representing the interests of women, fathers, queer and international employees at Audi. They are preparing the majority of the campaigns on the occasion of German Diversity Day of Charta der Vielfalt e.V. (May 18). The offer extends from mystery walks and digital talk formats all the way to useful tips on balancing work and family life. “The initiative for diversity shown by the workforce has seen a huge boost during the pandemic in particular,” says Sabine Maassen, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources and Organization at AUDI AG. “This provides huge added value for us as a company and reflects the change of culture that is taking place at Audi at the moment.”

In order to further leverage the potential of individuality while making the best possible use of the existing diversity of perspectives in the Audi Group, the brand has been gradually rolling out Diversity Management at the worldwide locations since 2019. The initial aim was to create a common basis and establish diversity and inclusion officers at the respective subsidiaries. We now have special diversity officers working at the locations in Brussels, San José Chiapa, and Győr as well as at the Italian Audi subsidiaries Lamborghini, Ducati, and Italdesign. “Diversity can function as a crucial motor in the context of transformation while also providing us with major challenges,” says Sabine Maassen. “The crucial success factor with regard to inclusion is to involve everyone in equal measure and treat everyone as equals.” For example, the parties involved had multiple weeks of intense discussions on the various local framework conditions and stakeholder groups in the individual countries during the sprint at the beginning of the year. Audi established an International Diversity Hub with changing focal topics to leverage synergies and promote diversity and inclusion worldwide. Uniform standards, for example for training courses and awareness-raising measures, ensure a common understanding of equal opportunities and diversity.

The diversity officers at the worldwide Audi locations intend to use the European Diversity Month, which the European Commission has proclaimed for the first time, to share their incentives and ideas on diversity. At the location in Brussels, for example, an Audi e-tron painted in rainbow colors carries the message of diversity throughout the plant. Female engineers will tell their success stories at Audi subsidiary Italdesign, and selected guests will speak about the power of diversity at Lamborghini. At the same time, the committed members of the worldwide diversity rollout will launch comprehensive information offerings and social media campaigns. Starting on May 25, the international diversity officers will share their personal motivation and the goals of their work publicly on audi.com.

The international diversity rollout will continue in 2021. The Audi brand is represented in around one hundred countries. Diversity and inclusion is becoming an increasingly important topic for the worldwide sales companies as well. Overall, the worldwide Audi family counts roughly 87,000 employees. People from around one hundred countries work at the two German sites in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm alone.

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