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Ayfer Teixeira: About team spirit and finding strength in differences.

Ayfer Teixeira: About team spirit and finding strength in differences.

Reading time for this article: 5 minutes

BSH recently launched a campaign to find colleagues that actively push and foster Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (short: DEI) at their workplace. They have been elected by their colleagues for their outstanding contributions to DEI at BSH to make these values a lived reality.

This time we want to introduce Ayfer Flora Teixeira, Global Category Manager in Germany, who we also featured in our story article “Why diverse teams are essential to corporate growth”. For her, fostering DEI is all about building a diverse team with unique strengths, backgrounds and experiences – taking advantage of these differences is an essential part of creating a safe and motivating work environment. 

1. How do you feel about being nominated as Diversity Champion and what does it (the nomination) mean to you?

It is a great honor for me to be nominated as a Diversity champion candidate. I always believe that as an employee, I am feeling and representing DEI but, of course, it is gratifying that this is reflected in the eyes of the people who work with me in a similar way. 

2. We still think back to your wonderful definition of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion based on the teamwork in a soccer team. Revisiting the definition now, how did your vision of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion change? 

My opinion has not changed. I still think in the same way. Each team member has a different contribution based on their strengths. We can only build a stronger and more successful team with people who have different strengths and talents.

In addition, each team member perceives success as the team's success. I mean the score is the team's score not the score of who shoots the ball. This way of thinking is only possible with true equity and inclusion at every level. 

3. Do you want to share your personal motivation for pushing DEI at your workplace?

Sure, actively participating in discussions or meetings, having the words or sharing my own ideas freely keeps me motivated. Besides, I also can inspire colleagues who might be shy to expose themselves. Although my ideas may not always be the ones that fit,  these ideas, connected with another colleague’s perspective, may unlock some great ideas, or can bring us solutions. 

4. What do you think is the biggest factor in pushing DEI at the workplace? What needs to be done first to establish a diverse, equal and inclusive workplace?

I believe the biggest factor to ensure DEI in our working place is having the right leadership. Leaders need to establish balanced teams with different skills, experiences, and ways of looking at things. They should assure that all employees feel equally important and they are free to talk about their ideas and concerns openly.  And have similar opportunities based on their potential and contributions. 

Employees should not hold back because of their differences. They must be aware of their strengths and certain advantages of their differences. Only then, do they belong to the team and they contribute with their maximum capacity.  A motivated, psychologically safe and healthy working environment!

5. What do you think personally – what do companies gain from implementing DEI at the workplace?

A diverse attitude to any situation brings the chance to challenge the situation. New ideas are encouraged. People participate more to get out of their comfort zone. Learn from each other to evolve further. In this way, attitudes change automatically.

6. What do you think is the biggest challenge of fostering the incorporation of DEI?

I believe building diverse teams is not very difficult. The biggest challenge, according to my observations, is ensuring Inclusion truly. People need to feel that although they are different, they are included; they are valued by the team. 

To feel included, I believe equity is necessary. This is the biggest issue. It is about mindset, it is about values and it is about daily behaviors.  

7. Sometimes it might be hard to find common ground with a lot of people and to satisfy every individual need in a professional environment – do you personally have advice on how to interact with a network of diverse people?

We need to understand the values and emotions better to get the right communication channel. We should not block our curiosity to learn from each other. Only then, we can get more perspectives. We have to embrace the differences, avoid unconscious biases – classic errors of judgment – and learn more about the differences. We should not be conservative – on the contrary, we should be adaptive to changing for the better.

8. What or who inspires you in your personal or professional life to push DEI at work?

My organization, our team in Giengen! We are approximately 40 people in our department. People with different backgrounds, different ages, from different regions: from Spain, Russia, Greece, Brazil, China, India, and Kazakhstan. 

All these colleagues have different perspectives and different upbringings. We have learned a lot from each other. The point is, DEI is not pushed in our organization – rather it was natural. 

9. Do you have a special story or memory to share that comes to mind when thinking about pushing DEI at your workplace?

Over 10 years ago, when I came to Germany as an Expatriate, the aim was that time to get experiences in Germany and turn back to my home country more equipped. After three years of experience, I believe we learned mutually from each other. While I was learning German structure and the way of working, I could inspire some colleagues with the strengths which I brought with me as a Turkish ambassador. After 3 years, I decided to stay in Germany because here I felt that I am included although I am different.

10. Pushing and fostering DEI at the workplace takes courage and confidence. What piece of advice would you give to colleagues that want to push DEI more, but don’t know how to go about it?

They should see DEI as normal and not something artificial or targeted. When it comes to building a new team or hiring a new team player, the diversity aspect should be considered natural.  

Encourage employees that feel unconfident or unsure because of their differences to present their ideas.  Bring them to contribute actively. 


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BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, with a total turnover of some EUR 15.6 billion and 62,000 employees in 2022, is a global leader in the home appliance industry. The company’s brand portfolio includes eleven well-known appliance brands like Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and service brands like Kitchen Stories. BSH produces at 40 factories and is represented in some 50 countries. BSH is a Bosch Group company.