Diversity – more than just a word

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Diversity”? “Gender equality and LGBT’s inclusion has nothing to do with me”? Well, I am pretty sure this is the answer of most people. Mine is different.

Coming from Brazil and working with Latin American countries, one of the most diverse continents in the world (in all extent!), I was invited to join Daimler’s 1st Global Diversity Working Summit this summer. I joined the meeting to present my personal project about women empowerment in public schools . Back in Brazil my actual Job is pretty much diverse: I manage Sales and After Sales of Daimler’s Japanese brand, Mitsubishi Fuso Trucks and Buses, and of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV)  in Latin America.

Exchanging ideas and getting connected

At the summit – besides myself – more than 50 colleagues from 21 countries from all divisions of Daimler gathered in Stuttgart in the Mercedes-Benz-Arena for a rewarding exchange on how to manage diversity at Daimler. The event provided me the chance to meet and learn with incredible people who are already doing amazing initiatives to foster diversity in their countries.

Being a woman in a male industry, I obviously expected to talk a lot about gender equality and how other nations are trying to achieve their targets in this matter. But I was surprised by the wide range of other diversity initiatives that are being carried out and their impact on the society and on the Business.

Wide range of activities

Among such actions was the inclusion of handicapped employees in Mexico. In the US so-called MBClubs (standing for: Mercedes-Benz Cars Clubs) are bringing employees with common hobbies together. Daimler Financial Services in Germany presented a customer focus approach based on diversity. In India a diversity committee was set up to empower diverse colleagues.

This list is still far from being complete: “Diversity Days” are organized at Daimler in Singapore and the UK, our colleagues in South Africa are proud of a rich diverse company culture; an equality plan was introduced in Spain. And our co-workers in the US use panel interviews assuring candidates diversity.

After so many insights, all I could think of was: How to increase the awareness of everyone on this topic? And that´s exactly what this blog is about. Flash news to everybody.

Diversity is not only an issue of the Human Resources department. It is EVERYONE’S issue! Because this is what happens in a diverse company:

  • Employees have truly and credibly equal opportunities and a non-discriminative working environment.
  • Sales and profits are increased by understanding our customers better.
  • Better decisions are made (generated by rich discussions provided by all perspectives and backgrounds).
  • It becomes a great place to work. Because people feel appreciated and more satisfied.
  • Top performers are attracted and retained. As studies show, they prefer to work at diverse companies.
  • It becomes more innovative because they can tap into diverse perspectives and expertise knowledge.
  • And – as a result of all above – it shows sustainable global Progress.

Ready to be different? Let’s take advantage of our differences!

At Daimler, over 280,000 people from more than 150 countries represent a vibrant mix of cultures and lifestyles. I truly believe that diversity is our driving force for ideas, innovation and inventiveness. It makes us more successful in business and plays a key role in furthering integration and cohesion in society. This 1st Global Diversity Working Summit was just the beginning of a strong movement towards this awareness at Daimler.

She started at Daimler at the Career Program in 2012 and works at Daimler Latina FUSO. She started her personal project in public schools to foster awareness of gender equality of boys and girls and improve Brazil’s public education.