Dealing with unconscious biases
ŠKODA AUTO held a workshop on diversity and inclusion on 10 March
D iversity is considered to be one of the engines of business success. People with different opinions generate a variety of solutions that move us forward. During its Diversity Wins @ Volkswagen workshop, the company’s Board of Management focused on ways to promote such an environment of diversity at ŠKODA AUTO. This workshop was led by Elke Heitmüller and Shannon Pereira, the foremost diversity experts in the entire VW Group. They informed the carmaker’s management of the latest trends in these areas and conducted a stimulating discussion on how to work with unconscious biases. It clearly showed that diversity not only includes topics such as the promotion of women, different cultures and national issues but is also a means to realise the potential of every employee, regardless of their individual characteristics. According to Heitmüller, this can be achieved primarily by alleviating so-called unconscious biases that are part of human nature. If we recognise them in time, we will make better decisions. Diversity also requires that our employees feel comfortable at work and are willing to present their views. “A way to promote diversity is to allow employees to openly express their interests and opinions affecting work or the work environment”, said Heitmüller. In addition to openness and psychological well-being, diversity support involves so-called nudge management.
“These issues should be addressed by the carmaker as a whole. We must work on making it modern and developing according to the sustainability principles. One of them is diversity”, said Bernhard Maier, Chairman of the Board of Management, after the workshop. Promoting corporate diversity and psychological security, which are essential for working with unconscious prejudices, is part of the Group’s TOGETHER 2025 Strategy, and all of our executives will have a similar discussion. Luděk Vokáč
SB – Operative HR Care, Digitisation, HR 4.0
An important finding that we agreed on with our management colleagues is that everyone should start with themself when it comes to diversity and inclusion and lead by example as well. We wish to motivate our employees to pay mutual respect to each other.
In our daily work, we should always remind ourselves of unconscious biases and how they work. Let us stop for a moment during our decision making and think deeply about how we make our decision and whether it is based on an unconscious biases.