Today is the International Day for Tolerance. This topic is dear to our hearts at Daimler — not only for 24 hours, but for 365 days a year. And I’m proud of that.
Tolerance is required daily, in families, friendships, in schools, at work, in the streets and last but not least between cultures. To me tolerance is diversity and respect: respecting each other, respecting ideas, views and opinions of others. When I walk through our canteen in Stuttgart, I do not only see the diversity of the dishes, but also the diversity of our colleagues. I listen to the international buzz, I see a colleague in his wheelchair entering the canteen comfortably by using the elevator. This makes me proud.
In these moments you see Daimler stands for a culture of openness and tolerance – independent of a person’s origin, gender, age or sexual orientation. We are committed to ensuring that all of our colleagues can work in an environment where they can participate just as they are in terms of their personality and identity. We expect and encourage a culture of appreciation and respect. How do we do that?
We take tolerance to the street
In the spirit of the slogan “We live diversity!” this year we staged our first-ever worldwide Daimler Pride Tour, which involved our participation in parades and events of the Rainbow Community in a total of 17 cities. We did this deliberately as a company. We were proud to see that our participants included company locations that have already marched in the Pride parades for several years, as well as other locations that wanted to declare their support for the first time this year. Vienna, Tel Aviv, Bangkok, Mexico City — thank you for your participation!
A big “thank you” goes especially to the more than 1,000 colleagues from a wide range of units at Daimler who have publicized our motto “We live diversity!” to the outside world. All of them have shown that it’s worthwhile to take to the streets in order to demonstrate our support for tolerance and diversity. Whether you’ve marched in a group or ridden in our Pride Truck, you’ve clearly shown that every individual is different but that everyone is treated the same at Daimler.
Commitments like that don’t have to come with loud noises. Our colleague Maren Rust from the SL/SLK-production in Bremen translated our Video of the Daimler Pride Tour into Sign language. Thus deaf people can capture furthermore information besides the great pictures of our diversity parades. Alongside tolerance we also value inclusion, to give every human the possibility, to unfold his full potential. Therefore I really appreciate this initiative.
We show our colors
In times when the strength of diversity and tolerance is being questioned more and more often, we believe that we as a company bear all the more responsibility for demonstrating our values to the public. That’s why we also participated in the #FlaggefürVielfalt (#flagfordiversity) movement supporting the Diversity Charter. We’ve made a public statement advocating the respectful treatment of others. We support openness, fairness, and respect within our company — and in society.
We signed in
We actively oppose discrimination and support human rights, in general as well as in individual cases. That’s why I’m proud of the fact that this week we signed the initiative of the UN Global Compact to combat discrimination against lesbians, homosexuals, bi, trans, and intersexual (LGBTI+) people. That way we’re sending a clear signal, both internally to our colleagues and externally to our customers and society.
For tolerance and diversity
Advocating these values, making them visible, and practicing them! The success of our policy of tolerance is shown by how we deal with diversity. If we regard diversity as an opportunity and an enrichment, we’re well on the way to reaching our goal. At Daimler we go even further. We say that we pride ourselves on the diversity of our colleagues and we capitalize on their varied experiences, perspectives, and areas of expertise. The diversity in our company results not only in a colorful mix of individuals but also boosts our potential for innovation and our creativity. That makes us more successful as a company and creates clear competitive advantages.
Our diversity helps us to understand and approach individual customer groups more effectively. One example is the “She’s Mercedes” initiative, which focuses very clearly on women as customers. However, diversity does more than just enhancing our success in business. It also plays a key role in promoting integration and cohesion in society.