BMW Group flies the flag for diversity

The BMW Group continues to advance the cause of diversity. To mark the seventh German Diversity Day on 28 May 2019, the company is organising a whole week of activities focused on the topic of individuality and diversity: Staff at more than 20 international BMW Group locations are taking part in information events and projects related to diversity.

“Diversity is a vital element of the BMW Group’s future. Diversity and individuality make us strong and innovative,” explains Milagros Caiña-Andree, member of the Board of Management of BMW Group, responsible for Human Resources.

Apprentices launch mentoring project

Diversity mentoring is just one of many projects presented: A team of BMW Group apprentices has established a mentoring programme for young refugees, spanning generations and cultures.

Since January 2019, six apprentices and two retired employees have been mentoring 18 young men from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran and Somalia during their eight-month practical work experience at the BMW Group. The refugees are earning the necessary professional qualifications and language skills for an apprenticeship at the BMW Group as part of the introductory training placement (EQ) initiative launched by the German Federal Labour Office.

Mentors help the refugees find their way around the company and help them feel at home in Germany through team events and training sessions. Through their interactions, refugees, junior and senior mentors are able to overcome cultural differences and language barriers, and form bonds between different age groups.

Many other Diversity Week projects focus on the benefits of diversity: Employees with very different personal and professional backgrounds come together to chat at Diversity Lunches, while visitors to the Diversity Adventure Room collaborate in teams to solve tasks and puzzles by working closely together.

During the project week, expert talks will highlight the various aspects of diversity and show how people with different cultures, gender, ages, sexual orientation and nationalities drive innovation at the BMW Group.

The BMW Group participated in the first German Diversity Day in 2013 and has been a signatory and active member of the Diversity Charter and Association, an employer initiative designed to promote diversity in companies and institutions under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, since 2011. The Diversity Charter and Association encourages respect for and appreciation of diversity and organises projects like the German Diversity Day to integrate diversity into German corporate culture.

Photographs by BMW Group.