Promoting diversity and equality

At Daimler, we encourage equal opportunity and a culture of appreciation and respect – a culture in which one’s ethnicity, age, gender, individual physical capabilities, and sexual identity or orientation have no bearing whatsoever on one’s job or career. That’s because people are more motivated, more capable, and more satisfied when they can bring their entire personality to work with them.

Diversity as an opportunity

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The diversity of our employees reflects the diversity of our customers. It helps us to find new viewpoints and acts as a driving force behind creative ideas and innovations. In this way, diversity makes us more successful as a company and creates clear competitive advantages. For us, inclusion means treating the diversity of our employees consciously, inclusively, and appreciatively, with the aim of including and treating all of them equally. Respect and a natural acceptance of diversity develop when we all champion cooperation without discrimination. This kind of working environment is vital if we are to actually make use of the potential of diversity.

How we shape diversity within the company

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The Board of Management holds regular discussions (on a quarterly basis over the past few years) of the Group’s diversity management targets, activities, and results. The Diversity Update contains a report on the number of women in management positions and, if required, information on Group-wide projects. We require of our entire workforce an appreciative, respectful interaction with each other. Managers serve as role models here and thus have a special responsibility for ensuring a corporate culture marked by fairness. The Integrity and Diversity units at Daimler design the framework and processes for such a culture. The Global Diversity Office is a corporate function that is part of the Group Human Resources organization. This office defines strategic targets and areas of action in cooperation with the business units and initiates Group-wide projects, training programs, and measures designed to increase awareness of the importance of diversity. We also hold discussions with external stakeholders on topics related to diversity – for example as part of our involvement in the Diversity Charter, of which we are a founding member.

Principles and policies

All the members of the Daimler Board of Management support our Diversity Statement and actively advocate the realization of its principles:

  • Celebrating our differences. We respect and value the diversity of our employees. We encourage them to contribute this diversity to the company.
  • Creating connections. We benefit from the diverse experience, skills and perspectives of our employees around the world. They reflect the diversity of our customers, suppliers and investors.
  • Shaping the future. Every one of us helps to create a working environment characterized by appreciation and mutual respect. Together we are shaping the future of Daimler along these lines.

Group-wide and Group company agreements

The principle of equality between men and women has been set out in binding form at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG in company-wide agreements on “The Advancement of Women” and “Equal Opportunity.” Furthermore, our policies regarding diversity and equal opportunity are described in our Integrity Code and our Group-wide “Fair Treatment in the Workplace” agreement.


The “Trans*@Daimler guideline” is aimed at managers, human resources units, and employees. It offers an example of how we actively promote equal opportunity and a work environment free of discrimination. The guideline, which was developed in cooperation with our transgender community, explains our in-house regulations and contains a corporate statement for strengthening the status of transgender colleagues.

External guidelines

We also anchor our principles publicly through our membership of associations and by signing standards and principles (year of membership or signature):

  • UN Global Compact (2000)
  • Charta der Vielfalt e. V. (2006)
  • Women’s Empowerment Principles (2013)
  • FidAR e. V. (2010)
  • Initiative of the UN Global Compact to combat discrimination against homosexuals, bi, trans, and intersexual (LGBT+) people (2018)
  • HIV declaration of the Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe (German AIDS service organization) (2019)

Reporting unfair behavior

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Employees who have been victims of discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment, or who observe improper behavior by colleagues, can report such violations of policy to their supervisors, the HR department, our counseling service, their plant medical services organization or the Works Council. In conversations with all the individuals involved, we examine the matter in depth and document it. Additional points of contact are the “Infopoint Integrity” and the whistleblower system BPO (Business Practices Office). In this way, all staff members around the world, as well as external whistleblowers, can report violations that pose a high risk to the company and its employees. These also include severe cases of sexual harassment, discrimination, and racism as well as misconduct that could pose a threat of serious damage to the reputation of the company. In verifiable cases we will take action under employment law. Such action will be proportionate to the severity of the violation.

A globally valid corporate policy aims to ensure a fair and transparent approach that takes into account the principle of proportionality for the affected parties, while also giving protection to whistleblowers. The policy defines BPO procedures and the responsibilities of the various departments and individuals in the organization. It also defines a standard for evaluating cases of misconduct and making decisions about their consequences.

Our targets

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Diversity management is part of our sustainable business strategy. Our associated objectives and areas of action are:

Best mix: putting together the best teams, which offer equal opportunities and are free of discrimination

Our aim is to increase the share of women in management positions to at least 20 percent by the year 2020. The share of women in such positions stood at 19.8 percent at the end of 2019. We have signed a company-wide agreement for the advancement of women for Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG. This stipulates a target corridor for the proportion of women in the total workforce, in vocational training, and in Level 4 and 5 management positions. In order to achieve our goals, we have installed an ongoing internal reporting and planning system. In addition, numerous measures have been implemented, ranging from recruiting to the further development of employees and career advancement for women employees.

We have set ourselves the following goals regarding the composition of the most important boards and committees:

  • In line with a further legal requirement, the Supervisory Board defined a target of 12.5 percent for the proportion of women on the Board of Management, with a deadline of December 31, 2020.
  • Pursuant to the recommendations contained in the current version of the German Corporate Governance Code, the Supervisory Board has set an age limit for members of the Board of Management. Therefore, as a rule, the 62nd birthday serves as orientation for age-related retirement.
  • In addition, attention should be paid to international scope when determining the composition of the Board of Management. We understand this to mean different cultural backgrounds, and also international experience acquired through several years of foreign postings. Wherever possible, at least one member of the Board of Management should be of international origin.
  • The members of the Board of Management should have different educational and professional backgrounds. Wherever possible, at least two members should have a technical background.

Our inclusion agreement for severely disabled persons also requires us to hire 23 severely disabled trainees each year.

Work culture: creating a supportive and inclusive working environment

We create a working environment that is characterized by respect and equality of opportunity and working conditions that motivate and encourage our employees. We have introduced diverse measures and programs that enable our employees to organize their working times flexibly in line with their individual situation. This option helps employees reconcile the needs of their professional and private lives. We also offer all employees opportunities to continuously further develop their skills and qualifications, and to integrate new work methods and learning techniques into their professional activities.

One important indicator in the area of employees is derived from the results of the Daimler employee survey. In this survey, we ask our employees whether they agree with the following statement: “Everyone in this company is treated fairly – independently of their ethnic or cultural background, sex, age, disablement or other characteristics that are not relevant to their job performance.”

Customer access: understanding, appreciating, and reaching customers as individuals

We are aware of the individual lifestyles and demands of our customers and develop products and services that correspond to their needs. This is how we reach the widest range of target groups. Our goal is to enable more mobility for people – mobility appropriate to themselves and their lifestyle.

We offer automobile-adaptive equipment, for example control assistants and power steering, pedal extenders, and swivel seats for our customers with impaired mobility.

We have set ourselves the goal of making Mercedes-Benz the most attractive premium automobile brand for women and substantially raising the share of women buyers by 2020. We launched a corresponding initiative in order to directly address women in 2015. Among other features, this includes the “She’s Mercedes” inspiration platform, training of sales employees, more female sales personnel, and the development of new services in the areas of aftersales and mobility services. Today “She’s Mercedes” is active in over 60 markets worldwide.

Measures for an appreciative corporate culture

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We promote a respectful and equitable working environment. This begins with recruiting, includes equality of opportunity in our dealings during everyday work, and an extremely wide range of consciousness-raising measures – from days of action to training courses and participation in Pride parades.

Diversity in recruitment

Top performance is not a question of sex, age, origin or other diversity factors. We also take this principle into account when selecting new employees. One example of this is INspire – The Leaders’ Lab – our trainee program for talented young managers. The various modules of our online test can be taken in 40 different languages. We pay attention to ensuring the greatest possible diversity in the composition of the observers at our selection events. In addition, applicants with documented weaknesses in reading and/or writing receive extra reading time during the online test. We record a proportion of 55 to 70 percent international applications in all of our INspire recruiting processes. Around every third application is from a woman (30 percent). Special guidelines, which are described in the inclusion agreement, are in effect for the recruitment of severely disabled employees.

Promotion of women

We have set ourselves the goal of promoting women at all levels of the company. We have introduced a number of measures for this purpose – from fostering young talent in schools to recruiting and individual professional development.

With actions such as the “Girls’ Day” and the “Genius” education initiative, Daimler is pursuing the goal of arousing the interest of girls in particular in technical careers and promoting young women engineers. We also address women as a specific target group at college career fairs and “Women Career Days.”

In order to prepare women for management positions, we offer special leadership workshops or mentoring programs, for example. Exchange is promoted by means of networks specifically created by and for women employed at Daimler. These include: Frauennetzwerk (FNW), Women’s Business Network (WBN), Frauen in Technik (FIT), and CAReer Women’s International Network (CAR-WIN).


Daimler’s around 300,000 employees from over 160 countries provide the Group with a vibrant mixture of cultures and ways of life. Most of our managers abroad come from the respective regions. Our employees’ diverse cultural backgrounds help us to better understand the wishes of the customers in each region and tailor our products accordingly. We support our employees with worldwide staff assignments, mentoring, intercultural skills training, and targeted recruiting measures. Our company’s intercultural scope is also increased by the fact that international candidates account for more than a third of the people recruited through our trainee program.

Worldwide employee assignments

To promote global thinking, personal development, and an understanding of new cultures and worlds of work, around 2,000 Daimler employees from nearly 50 countries are taking part in international assignments throughout the world. By far the most important region in which assignees from Germany work is China, with a share of about 30 percent. It is followed by United States at 17 percent and Mexico at 7 percent. Other important target countries include Hungary, Japan, and South Africa.

However, we also promote the assignment of employees from our global locations to Germany as “impats” or to other countries so that they can build up networks and share and deepen their know-how. Such employees also help to make Daimler more international. We currently have around 140 global assignees in Germany, with most of them coming from the United States, China, India, and Brazil. Furthermore, 296 employees from outside Germany work in other countries, mostly in China and the United States. They mostly come from the United States, Brazil, South Africa, and Japan.

Employees with severe disabilities

Employees with disabilities are an important and fully integrated part of our diverse workforce. Daimler AG already exceeded the legal quota of 5 percent disabled employees in previous years. Almost 9,000 employees with disabilities worked at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG during the reporting period. Training for young people with disabilities is particularly important to Daimler. As early as 2006, we began cooperating with the severely disabled persons’ representative to put together a plan of action for taking on severely disabled trainees. Over the last five years, more than one hundred young individuals with disabilities have started a Daimler training program. In addition, in Germany the severely disabled persons’ representative and the inclusion officer of the company take action on behalf of severely disabled employees.

Generation diversity: keeping up performance

The average age of our global workforce in 2019 was 43 years. Our employees at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG had an average age of 45 years. Demographic developments and the increasing prolongation of professional life will lead to a further rise in the average age of the workforce in the years ahead. We see this transformation as an opportunity and are adjusting the framework conditions accordingly. Our generation management system focuses on measures for supporting the capabilities and health of younger and older employees as well as for promoting cooperation between people of different ages. Our generation management activities include the following focal points:

  • We evaluate our workplaces with regard to their ergonomics. In this way we want to ensure that our employees can work there without risks to their health. New technologies such as human-robot cooperation will make it possible to further reduce the physical demands of workplaces in production in the future.
  • As part of our training courses, we raise our employees’ awareness of demographic challenges.
  • Our Senior Experts Program offers experienced retired employees the opportunity to come back to work and contribute their expertise to various projects for a maximum of six months. More than 800 assignments of senior experts have taken place since this program was launched in 2013.

Consciously experiencing diversity: Daimler Diversity Day

At Daimler we treasure the multifaceted experiences, perspectives, and skills of our employees. One day in the year is specially devoted to the topic of diversity: Daimler Diversity Day. Consciously experiencing diversity, taking in new perspectives, and understanding how all employees can profit from active diversity management – these are central objectives of Daimler Diversity Day. This day took place for the seventh time in 2019. Our motto is “Changing Perspectives. Ready to Be Different.”

Originally launched within the framework of the Diversity Charter initiative as a nationwide event in Germany, Diversity Days are now held at Daimler locations on all continents around the globe. In 2019 a large number of hands-on activities once again invited people to take a look at their own surroundings from a different perspective – that of a wheelchair user, a colleague with limited vision or colleagues with unusual life stories, for example. And of course the traditions and customs of other cultures were also highlighted.

Showing your colors: Daimler Pride Tour 2019

Our international commitment underscores our social contribution to diversity and inclusion and demonstrates that Daimler stands for appreciation and openness worldwide. This is a joint initiative of the Group, the employee representatives, and the Employee Resource Groups. In 2019 we once again joined a worldwide demonstration of respect and diversity. From June to November, the Daimler Pride Tour traveled from the United States via Asia and Europe all the way to South Africa and South America. Around 2,000 employees worldwide participated in 15 parades and events of the Daimler Pride Tour 2019. Their shared motto is “We live diversity!” Alongside the LGBTI+ networks GL@D (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender at Daimler), Spectrum, and Equal, further Daimler networks are also supporting the Daimler Pride Tour this year.

Involvement in employee networks

Networks enable employees with shared interests, experiences, and values to discuss various issues across all business units and hierarchical levels. They help to make diversity a firm component of our company and they also support a culture of diversity and appreciation at Daimler. Networks also often facilitate the rapid and creative development of solutions and can serve as important partners for projects and events.

Daimler has 12 official Employee Resource Groups that bring together around 5,500 employees and are supported by the Global Diversity Office. These are mostly intercultural, women’s, LGBTI+, and role/organization-specific networks that are generally active Group-wide. In order to also promote interaction between the networks, the Global Diversity Office organizes regular meetings for the networks’ spokespersons. In addition, minority spokespersons are present at various locations, for example in the United States and South Africa.

Training and awareness-raising for employees and managers

Daimler informs its employees worldwide about the topics of diversity and inclusion. In addition, employees and managers can become part of the Global Diversity Community. This Social Intranet community offers an opportunity for networking and for sharing information. In addition, here we provide information about the strategic orientation and the areas of action of Diversity Management along with facts and figures, and offer courses and training programs. A web-based training program that supports the process of breaking down prejudices is available to all employees worldwide on the Social Intranet.

We offer various training and qualification measures for managers that are designed to make diversity management a firm element of their day-to-day management work. Consequently the “Diversity & Inclusion Management” topic area is a component of existing training courses for managers and staff in human resources units. Among other things, these courses also teach participants how to address stereotypes and prejudices.

“Charta der Vielfalt” employer initiative

Daimler is a co-initiator and founding member of the employer initiative “Charta der Vielfalt” (Diversity Charter) (2006). The Charta der Vielfalt drives forward the substantive discussions of diversity management in Germany by means of various projects such as the Diversity Day. Over 3,300 companies and institutions have already signed the Charta der Vielfalt.

The Diversity Challenge team competition took place for the first time from July 2018 until June 2019. Young people between the ages of 16 and 27 could take part with concrete activities to promote diversity in the workplace. Daimler was represented by two teams from the ranks of the trainees. The team from the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant took first place in the competition category for large companies. The team developed a game to raise awareness of the topic of diversity.

Daimler is a partner of the DIVERSITY Conference, which is staged by the Charta der Vielfalt in cooperation with the “Tagesspiegel”newspaper. In 2019 Daimler implemented a new format as part of a sponsorship. It is called “Debating Diversity” and involves discussing the question of what digitalization can do for inclusion and which risks have to be taken into account.

How we evaluate the effectiveness of our management approach

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Beyond the current legal requirements, since 2006 we have been setting clear goals for increasing the proportion of women in the various business units and we check every month or quarter to see how we are progressing. For example, Daimler has defined its own target for the proportion of women in executive management positions at the Group level over a period of several years. This target calls for a proportion of 20 percent by the end of 2020. The share of women in such positions stood at 19.8 percent at the end of 2019. Women currently account for 19.0 percent of the total workforce worldwide.

As the supervisory board of a listed company subject to parity codetermination, the Daimler AG Supervisory Board is legally required to have a gender ratio of at least 30 percent women. The Supervisory Board fulfills this requirement as a whole and also in terms of the side of the Supervisory Board representing the shareholders as well as the side representing the employees. In line with a further legal requirement, the Supervisory Board defined a target of 12.5 percent for the proportion of women on the Board of Management, with a deadline of December 31, 2020. This target has been clearly surpassed, as the proportion of women on the Board of Management is currently 25 percent. The Board of Management defined a target of 15 percent for the proportion of women in the first and second management levels of Daimler AG below the Board of Management, with a deadline of December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2019, the proportion of women at the first management level below the Board of Management was 12.5 percent; at the second level it was 23.8 percent.

In the Daimler employee survey we ask our employees to say to what extent they agree with the following statement: “Everyone in this company is treated fairly – independently of their ethnic or cultural background, sex, age, disablement or other characteristics that are not relevant to their job performance.” In this way, every two years we find out how the employees evaluate equality of opportunity within the Group.

In 2019 we also received external recognition for our commitment to inclusion with the award of the “Inclusion Prize of the German Economy 2019.” This prize is an initiative of the Federal Employment Agency, the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, Charta der Vielfalt, and the UnternehmensForum, under the aegis of Hubertus Heil, the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. The prize honors companies that carry out exemplary projects and activities to train and employ people with disabilities, to continue employing employees who have become disabled or to maintain their employability. Daimler applied with projects including the plan of action for training young people with disabilities, the Buddy project, the “Diversity Challenge”, and the “Digital Barrier-Freedom” initiative. Our application documents were also designed to be completely barrier-free, for example through the use of a text-to-speech function. The award jury particularly honored the fact that Daimler has permanently incorporated inclusion into its corporate culture.

Female workforce
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Female workforce by group
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Female workforce: other key figures (in %)
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Daimler AG

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Percentage of women in management positions level 1-3






Percentage of women in the second management level below the board*






Percentage of women in the first management level below the board*






Percentage of women in the Board of Management






Percentage of women in the Supervisory Board






Further diversity indicators








Due to the new corporate structure since 11/1/2019, the severely disabled rate for 2019 is reported for the individual companies Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG and Daimler Truck AG.

Percentage of severely disabled persons* (in %)





Daimler AG






Mercedes-Benz AG






Daimler Truck AG






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Average age of workforce







Daimler AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 711 17 0

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Martin Daum, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Wilfried Porth, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Commercial Register Stuttgart, No. HRB 19360
VAT registration number: DE 81 25 26 315