Diversity drives innovation
All the ŠKODA AUTO areas are running diversity projects
aving teams with a diverse composition benefits companies in several ways. It helps to increase efficiency and creativity, reduce employee turnover and attract new talent. It also significantly contributes to improving communication and creating a motivating work environment. Last but not least, it develops loyalty, intercultural skills, teamwork, flexibility, responsibility and more. ŠKODA AUTO fully supports diversity and focuses on five pillars: gender equality, culture and origin, intergenerational cooperation, individual skills and diversity of thought. How is it doing in this regard, and which projects oriented around gender equality (women, female talent) and intergenerational cooperation (parents, pupils, staff) has its diverse community prepared under the auspices of SB/5 – Transformation and HR 4.0? RED
Annual Diversity Report
The 2020 Annual Diversity Report is published together with this issue of ŠKODA Mobil issue and can be downloaded for free from ŠKODA Space or in the attachments section at www.skodamobil.cz.
Diversity projects are a good starting point for a bold effort to take this topic to a higher level at ŠKODA AUTO – for example, in the NEXT LEVEL ŠKODA programme.
The new Ptácká parking house has 15 safe parking spaces for women that are located near the exits and well lit. The project was prepared by a working group from the F (Finance and IT) and E (Technical Development) areas with help from specialist departments across ŠKODA AUTO. The official final approval of parking spaces in Česana took place on 8 March of this year on International Women’s Day.
Masculine and feminine principles in teamwork
At the carmaker, the smallest number of women work in the E (Technical Development) area, where the work environment is dominated by the principle of masculinity. That is why a pilot project is taking place there to consciously combine masculine and feminine principles in the work environment. The goal is to involve women in the cooperation and, thus, enrich the resilience of the individual teams. The pilot project’s backbone consists of four online workshops for six pairs of men and women, regardless of the hierarchy in the company. The last of these will take place in the autumn; subsequently, the project will be expanded to other ŠKODA AUTO areas.
Consultation programme for female talent
This consultation programme is in the pilot phase and will serve to support female talent. Female managers at ŠKODA AUTO will inspire women to manage their own development, maximise their potential, develop their skills, appropriately divide their energy between the demands of personal and professional life and make good decisions regarding their future careers. Last year, a consultation pilot run took place with the support of Jana Šrámová from SB – Operational HR Care, Digitisation, HR 4.0 and Eva Kancnýřová from VTK – Customer Centre. This year, the programme will run live.
Mentoring female talent
The idea that emerged from the February Diversity MeetUp dedicated to topics relating to the support and development of women in management and on their way to management is also in its pilot phase. The project is based on the assumption that each Board Member will become a mentor for one or two female talents for management. The SB/5 team is now preparing a project concept and expects it to be launched in the second half of the year.
This concept would allow parents to better combine their work and private responsibilities. It would be a special space for children aged between 3 and 12 and would be used, for example, when schools are closed or on other similar occasions. Its capacity would be managed via a booking system. The concept began to be considered following an initiative from employees; 84 percent of respondents stated that they would use the service, and 95 percent saw it as a benefit to combine work and private life.
Welcome Back on Board
During the pandemic, webinars for employees currently on maternity or parental leave replaced in-person pre-employment training. They were established with the aim of regularly informing parents who plan to return to work about the current events in the carmaker, possibilities regarding benefits, education, health care etc. Three of them had already taken place by April 2021.
The purpose of this service is to help employees to take care of their children and grandchildren. A specially marked taxi would drive around Mladá Boleslav and its surroundings and transport children between home, school and after-school clubs. Taxis would be operated only by specially trained drivers, and cars would also have certain safety features (e.g. the ability to track the car’s route, a camera in the car etc.). The project was initiated by employees who took part in a survey at ŠKODA Space where more than three-quarters said that they would use such a service in the future. The project is overseen by a team from the F (Finance and IT) area.
In February 2020, the carmaker published a guide to maternity and parental leave. This practical guide helps not only new parents but also their immediate supervisors with the processes of leaving and returning to work, legal deadlines, education and so forth.
The ŠKODA Academy has prepared a series of online workshops for pupils in secondary vocational schools. The first, Understanding Diversity and Inclusion, focused on explaining diversity, inclusion and human rights. The second one focused on experiential learning, working with bias, social media and fake news. In the last one, Living Library, representatives of minority groups (a woman who is a former drug addict, a homeless man, a trans man, an HIV-positive person, a woman who had converted to Islam and a disabled woman) told their stories. Pupils had open discussion with them, and no topic was taboo. When meeting people who are struggling with bias, the pupils were given space to form their own opinions and shape their attitudes about diversity.
How do you see it
In the coming months, the Car Production and Human Resources Management departments are planning a pilot project that will address diversity within the ŠKODA AUTO strategy for 2030. The first step will be a questionnaire survey of 500 respondents, primarily in the P (Production and Logistics) area. Voluntary and anonymous surveys will map how employees perceive the topic of diversity, so that its development can be measured in the future.
Cooperation with others
In 2019, ŠKODA AUTO joined the signatories of the European Diversity Charter. It was signed on behalf of ŠKODA AUTO by Jana Šrámová, Head of the SB department. The European Diversity Charter is an employer initiative aimed at promoting diversity in companies and institutions.
Over the past four years, the Czechitas organisation has earned a good reputation in IT education for women and children. This non-profit helps to fight the cliché that women, IT and technology do not match. IT is still one of the fastest-growing fields on the labour market, and new positions open up every day. However, only a small number of women graduate from technical universities. ŠKODA AUTO offers women the opportunity to learn and grow in the five pillars of diversity, which is why it has joined forces with Czechitas.
Pride Business Forum
On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which, as every year, fell on 17 May, ŠKODA AUTO became a member of the Pride Business Forum. It supports employers in their efforts to treat all their employees fairly, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
European Diversity Day
On the World Cultural Diversity Day for Dialogue and Development taking place on Friday, 21 May, the European Diversity Day conference was held in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament with the participation of the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Thomas Schäfer, and Board Member for Human Resources Management, Maren Gräf. It was organised by the national coordinator of the Diversity Charter – Business for Society with support from Markéta Pekarová Adamová, who is an MP and the leader of TOP 09, as well as Senator Šárka Jelínková. The conference was organised with the support of the European Commission and in cooperation with the German Diversity Charter. This year’s event focused on international cooperation and networking in diversity and inclusion, reflecting on the impacts of COVID-19 on employers and people at work.
E-mail your inquiries and ideas regarding the topic of diversity to innoHR@skoda-auto.cz.