Together we make a difference! Best of BSH Diversity Week in Munich
One week – one theme: During May BSH Headquarters in Munich hosted its first Diversity Week. Workshops, keynote speeches, round table talks, info hubs and many other activities raised awareness among employees, informed about opportunities as well as challenges and offered plenty of chances to join in. Some of the actions took place in BSH locations abroad, such as India or Spain. The week was highly successful and has already inspired more BSH locations to stage similar events in the near future.
Diversity matters! Not only is it a key factor to a company’s success. It is also one of the core values of BSH. As a globally operating company we believe that a diverse mix of employees with different mindsets boosts business and innovation, promotes cultural understanding and sparks new ideas and progressive approaches.
Diversity as an opportunity – and a challenge
But as we all know, to live and practice diversity and inclusion on a daily basis can be challenging. Diversity Week aimed to show several dimensions of diversity represented within BSH, such as gender, nationality and culture, age and sexual orientation and identity. The agenda was not to celebrate where we stand today, but to work on the topic, move it further and create an open-minded environment for genuine discussions about the positive and sometimes critical aspects.
Why are we all unconsciously biased?
External experts provided valuable insights in their keynote speeches. The renowned business psychologist Professor Matthias Spörrle talked about “Unconscious Bias”, why we all have it and how we can become more conscious about it. A two-hour workshop on the same theme – held in German and English – gave participants the chance to dig deeper into the topic and overcome certain behavioral patterns.
Kathrin Menges, Executive Vice President Human Resources at Henkel, gave a lecture about “Diversity and Inclusion at Henkel” – a multinational corporation where diversity and inclusion are firmly anchored in the corporate culture. She emphasized the importance of fostering an environment which welcomes and embraces different perspectives, cultures and mindsets.
Other Diversity Week workshops dealt with LGBT awareness, training of self-confidence and self-esteem for women and intercultural intelligence. Among other things, participants gained an understanding of how ethnocentrism and varying perspectives drive our interactions.
On the agenda: lunches, discussions, real-life accounts and much more
“Diverse teams – key to success?” was the topic presented at Diversity Lunch with CEO Karsten Ottenberg. Another inspiring lunch event was the “Brown Bag Session: Eat. Meet. Connect. Women and technology.” initiated by three senior female managers. Women and technology were also the focus of the panel discussion “Digital Transformation – Diversity as key to success?” with Eva Christensen in cooperation with Digital Media Women.
Infohubs informed about matters such as parental leave, sabbaticals, part-time and remote work and introduced BSH Academy’s Diversity trainings.
Personal experiences shared by BSH employees and locals showed interesting insights on what it is like to work e.g. in India or how it actually feels for a non-German-speaking person to work in Germany. A rather significant part of Diversity Week was dedicated to work-life-family balance and how working moms manage family and a high-profile job.
Our BSH co-worker Sabine Ardey, Head of Development at BSH Berlin, closed Diversity Week on Friday afternoon with her inspirational keynote speech about balancing family and career, stressing how crucial it is to take the initiative as well as to take chances from time to time.
On that note, isn’t that exactly what it takes to make diversity work?
sravan kumar dalavayi
Hi Team, Blog looks very colorful. I am based in Munich basically from India. After looking in to the pictures into the blog I am very excited and impressed a lot. Please keep on inform me in future about events and workshops I am interested to support(voluntary) and participate in the events as well Great work!