Because it’s our differences that make the real difference: Audi steps up on diversity & inclusion
Audi shows where it stands and continues to focus on diversity and inclusion as part of its sustainability strategy. Shortly before German Diversity Day on May 23, the entire Board of Management signed a D&I manifesto with the aim of further promoting diversity within the company. Diversity is a priority for the entire brand group, as highlighted by the We.Together: International D&I Days 2023, where Audi is offering its employees around the globe a total of 72 online events on diversity and inclusion. But that’s not all: Audi has also joined both the European LGBTIQ Chamber of Commerce (EGLCC) and the WEConnect International network to promote transparency around diversity in the supply chain.
“We know that diversity is an important lever for innovation at Audi,” emphasizes Chief Human Resources Officer Xavier Ros. “At Audi, we anchor diversity and inclusion in a way that creates real added value for both our employees and the company.” In fact, the company takes a systemic approach here: “To truly ensure equity and promote diversity across the board, we have to take D&I into account across all our company processes right from the outset,” says Ros. Diversity and inclusion are part of Audi’s sustainability strategy, and the company has already launched a range of measures as it strives to become an inclusive company. These include, for example, checks for equitable corporate processes, target-group-specific training options, gender-inclusive language, mentoring programs and job sharing at management level. Equally, diversity networks provide an opportunity for employees with similar interests to meet and work together to promote greater diversity within the company. This is yet another reason Audi is an attractive employer.
Audi promotes diversity in the supply chain
The company has joined the European LGBTIQ Chamber of Commerce (EGLCC) and the WEConnect International network in order to broaden access to the company to a more diverse range of suppliers. Audi currently works with more than 14,000 supplier companies from 60 countries, with correspondingly huge potential.
Audi is the first German member company in the EGLCC international chamber of commerce, which is committed to achieving greater diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities in procurement. WEConnect International, meanwhile, works to achieve more equitable opportunities for women in business.
“We are proud to have gained Audi as a partner. We connect LGBTIQ businesses with companies that recognize and support the opportunities brought about by a diverse supply chain. By joining the EGLCC, Audi is helping us to achieve our goal, namely anchoring diversity as a relevant value in the world of business moving forward,” says Fabienne Stordiau, founding and board member of the EGLCC.
Memberships like these help Audi consolidate its work in the area of supplier diversity and inclusion, laying the groundwork for greater transparency. They also help in identifying diversely managed companies – either companies with which Audi already collaborates or which could be a choice for a future partnership. Audi takes an opportunity-driven approach to this.
These activities are all part of the Procurement with Purpose Initiative, which aims to support the economic participation of diverse companies as well as companies with a social purpose – an aim to which Audi is committed. This includes companies that create social value by solving social or environmental challenges (social businesses) as well as minority-owned businesses (MOB), that is companies run by groups underrepresented in the world of business, such as disabled people, women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color) – all people or groups who experience structural discrimination.
Audi also strives to improve visibility when it comes to diversity and inclusion in procurement. As such, the company hosted empowerment workshops to train its employees and expanded its Code of Conduct for business partners to include diversity criteria. The aim here is to encourage the company’s business partners to take diversity into account in choosing their own suppliers.
We.Together: International Diversity & Inclusion Days 2023
Beyond procurement, Audi regularly hosts events for all employees. The We.Together: International Diversity & Inclusion Days, held during European Diversity Month in May, showcase just how multifaceted diversity really is. The week-long event will run from May 22 to 26, 2023 and will offer a total of 72 online sessions in seven different languages. Employees around the globe can look forward to a varied program of lectures, workshops, networking events and panels. This year, it’s not just AUDI AG getting involved: Bentley, Italdesign and Lamborghini, the Audi Brussels, Audi Hungaria and Audi México production sites as well as the Audi China sales company are all playing a role in the event. The program will also host a range of internal speakers, employee networks and external experts. “The We.Together: International Diversity & Inclusion Days show that it’s our differences that make the difference,” explains Chief Human Resources Officer Xavier Ros.
First published at Audi MediaCenter