ŠKODA AUTO CEO, Thomas Schäfer, said: “Diversity has become noticeably more important in recent years and will continue to do so. It has a measurable impact on the performance of teams and influences a company’s mindset and culture. Diverse teams are more efficient and more likely to strike the right note when they are working together. That’s why, for us at ŠKODA, diversity is consistently promoted as one of the key success factors in achieving our company objectives.”
Maren Gräf, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Human Resources, added: “Diversity covers many aspects such as gender, ethnic origin, social background, religion, world view, sexual orientation and age. They all define an individual’s personality and how they see themselves. For people to reach their full potential at work, they need to be surrounded by colleagues who do not judge them but accept and support them as they are. At ŠKODA AUTO, we have set ourselves clear objectives. We will resolutely continue to promote – and importantly measure – diversity across the board. We are shaping the transformation of our company and our industry together with our teams – with their full potential, commitment and passion.”
Diversity Open Talk on 13 May 2021
As part of the ŠKODA AUTO Academy OPEN TALK event series, Thomas Schäfer and Maren Gräf were joined by Jana Šrámová, Head of Operative HR Management, Digitalisation and HR 4.0 and Michal Kadera, Head of External Relations to exchange views with the workforce on how strategy and diversity are linked. They addressed why quotas are an incentive to place a greater focus on diversity and to record and review progress. In addition to numerous other topics, they also discussed the option of establishing a diversity community at ŠKODA AUTO.
As a signatory of the EU Diversity Charter and a member of the Czech Business for Society initiative, ŠKODA AUTO is involved in various other events. Last year, employees of the car manufacturer and other companies exchanged views on topics such as ‘Single Parents at Work’, ‘The Future is Female’ and ‘Time Travel: Integrational Dialogue’ and discussed best-practice examples.
Joining the Pride Business Forum on 17 May 2021
On 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Thomas Schäfer and Maren Gräf signed the 2017+ Memorandum for ŠKODA AUTO to join the Pride Business Forum. The initiative aims to promote LGBT+ diversity in the workplace and ensure open and fair treatment of each other, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Alongside ŠKODA AUTO, numerous other major companies are members of the Pride Business Forum in the Czech Republic.
European Diversity Day conference in the Czech Republic on 21 May 2021
On 21 May, Thomas Schäfer and Maren Gräf joined Elke Heitmüller, Volkswagen Group’s Head of Diversity, at the Diversity Charter conference and discussed with representatives from business, politics and academia how diversity can be anchored in the corporate world. ŠKODA AUTO signed the EU Diversity Charter in 2019. The employers’ initiative to promote workplace equality is supported by more than 12,000 businesses and organisations across Europe. In Germany, signatories include Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and ŠKODA AUTO Germany.
Equality at ŠKODA AUTO
The basis for ŠKODA AUTO’s long-term success is a strong sense of community among its staff. They shape the working environment and help create an open, diverse and understanding company culture. The car manufacturer’s diversity strategy is based on five cornerstones.
ŠKODA AUTO strives for gender balance across its workforce. This includes women being fully supported in their training and career development, and when returning to work after parental leave. As part of its diversity strategy, ŠKODA AUTO staffs roles at all levels with international team members. Being a global company in a dynamic business environment requires an understanding of the needs of a diverse customer base in all markets to remain competitive in the long run. Furthermore, the corporate culture is characterised by cross-generational collaboration within the workforce. Each age group enriches the view on current topics such as digitalisation, teamwork, leadership style and the working environment. As a further core component of its diversity strategy, ŠKODA AUTO employs more than 350 people at its three Czech plants who need special support in carrying out their daily tasks due to their health or other requirements. The carmaker also actively promotes a diverse mindset. A comprehensive understanding of the importance of diversity and a clear commitment to the underlying values are key to the car manufacturer’s success and the basis for stakeholder engagement with the company.