CSD 2012: We know the difference

Daimler Financial Services at the Christopher Street Day Berlin 2012.
They say that change is the one constant in life, and this saying certainly rings true in the business world.

Working in a dynamic industry such as mobility and automotive finance, we know that Daimler Financial Services (DFS) must constantly evolve to meet the changing and diverse needs of its customers. I’d like to think that every employee is unique and brings something different to the table, and that harnessing and celebrating these differences also makes good business sense.
Put more simply, it makes for a better place to work. This is why for the last 2 years; DFS have sponsored a truck at the Berlin Christopher Street Day Parade.

When I was asked last year to assist in the organisation of the DFS Float for one of the biggest Pride Parades in the world, I had a lot of questions. “Why should I participate? Can’t I just watch from the sidelines? What does this event have to do with me anyway?? After all, I’m just an average employee.”

It was only when I was standing on the truck in 2011, surrounded by over 100 employees and their friends, from different backgrounds, age groups and lifestyles, did I realise what DFS participation in the CSD meant to me personally.

I’m young, I’m foreign, my German isn’t great. As an employee though, I am given the same opportunities to develop and progress here as everyone else. As a person, I am treated with equal respect. Everybody, regardless of what makes them an individual, should be treated with this same level of fairness. This is the message our company sends by participating at the CSD. We value diversity. Or, as per the DFS Motto for CSD this year, “We know the difference”.

That is why, when I was asked this year to lead the organisation of the DFS Truck for 2012, I said “yes” without hesitation. As a fan of last year’s CSD parade commented, the DFS Float was not simply a “Gay Float”, but rather a “Tolerance Float”. The bottom line for me, is that I can be proud to work for a company who really walks the talk when it comes to diversity.

Keeping with the spirit of change, this year’s parade took a different route than the previous year, through Kreuzberg rather than Charlottenburg. As we made our way through this melting pot of Berlin’s different lifestyles, where only one month before the Carnival of Culture took place, did I once again realise the significance of this event for me as an employee as well as for our company. The music from Chris Bekker blasted out from our speakers to the surrounding crowds and the truck with close to 150 DFS party people on board moved slowly but surely to our end destination, Brandenburger Tor. For some, the party vibe would continue in true Berlin style through the night. For others, the excitement of the parade was enough for one day, and they opted for an early night. But in the spirit of diversity, that’s okay too!

Now, would I have written this article 2 years ago? Probably not. But hey, that’s the great thing about change! My question is no longer, “what does CSD have to do with me?” but rather, “who’s on board for next year?”