Diversity and equality of opportunity

Diversity lays the foundation for our success

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Our workforce is as diverse as our customers, and Daimler is convinced that diversity makes us more successful as a company. This is because diversity helps us to find new viewpoints and acts as a driving force behind creative ideas and innovations. We promote a working environment in which all of our employees can develop and make full use of their talent — regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation or any other characteristic that relates to diversity. We therefore need to be respectful of one another and remain open-minded, which means there is no place for discrimination in the workplace. For us, inclusion means treating the diversity of our employees consciously, inclusively, and appreciatively.

How we shape diversity within the company

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We expect all of our employees to treat one another in a respectful, open, and fair manner. 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. Information and ideas are exchanged here in meetings held at regular intervals by the Diversity Working Group, in which representatives from Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, Daimler Mobility AG, and central functions at Daimler AG participate. The intranet-based Global Diversity Community also offers all employees the opportunity to obtain information on diversity and inclusion at Daimler and to establish networks and engage in dialog.

We also hold discussions with external stakeholders on topics related to diversity — for example, as part of our membership in the Diversity Charter and our participation in the Global Summit of Women.

Our targets

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Diversity management is part of our sustainable business strategy. The three areas of action “Best mix,” “Work culture,“ and “Customer access” form the foundation for a corporate culture shaped by diversity.

Best mix: We rely on mixed teams

Daimler is convinced that diverse perspectives make us more successful. For this reason, we seek to bring together different kinds of people in mixed teams in a manner that offers equal opportunities and ensures an environment free of discrimination. This approach enables us to overcome the challenges we face in our daily business in the best possible way. Our goal is to attract the most highly qualified specialists and managers to our company and support their professional development, regardless of their age, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation and identity, or any physical limitations they may have.

31 | Daimler Diversity Compass

Daimler Diversity Compass (Graphic)

Our diversity management approach is grounded in the principle of equal opportunity for all employees — regardless of any characteristic that relates to diversity. Daimler seeks to increase the share of women in its workforce and executive management positions. As early as 2006, Daimler set itself the target of increasing the share of women in executive management positions in the Group (excluding Daimler Greater China and Trucks Asia) to at least 20 percent by the year 2020. Beginning in 2021, we plan to further increase the proportion of women in executive management at the Group by one percentage point each year.

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 agreement includes a commitment to increase the proportion of women in the total workforce, in vocational training, and in Level 4 and 5 management positions. We have established numerous measures along the entire “employee journey” in order to achieve these targets — involving everything from recruiting to onboarding and further professional development during the ongoing employee relationship.

No targets for the proportion of women have been set for the level of administrators at Daimler Mobility AG and Mercedes-Benz Bank AG and their subsidiaries, as men and women are more or less equally represented in those positions at the companies. This roughly equal gender representation also applies in the case of trainees and student-trainees.

We have set ourselves the following goals regarding the composition of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG:

  • In line with legal requirements, the Supervisory Board defined a target of 12.5 percent for the proportion of women on the Board of Management in 2016.
  • 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 an 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. If 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.

Working culture: We are creating an inclusive working environment

We are creating a working environment that motivates our employees and is characterized by equality of opportunity and a spirit of respect. We promote diversity and inclusion by implementing qualification measures and conducting programs for the workforce that increase awareness of the importance of these issues. We also offer other programs, including employee assignments abroad and mentorship programs for women.

We also help employees reconcile the needs of their professional and private lives. We have introduced diverse measures and programs that enable our employees to organize their working times flexibly in line with their individual situation. 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 daily activities.

Customer access: We offer customers solutions that meet their specific needs

We appreciate the individuality of our customers and understand that they have different ideas about how they want to live their lives, and therefore have different needs and requirements. That’s why we develop products and services that can meet these various needs. Our goal is to enable mobility for people — mobility appropriate to themselves and their lifestyle.

For example, we offer automobile-adaptive equipment — such as pedal extenders, swivel seats, control assistants, and power steering — for our customers with impaired mobility.

Mercedes-Benz is also using its Best Customer Experience sales and marketing initiative to focus on the wishes and requirements of women. Best Customer Experience was launched in 2015 to coincide with the IAA International Motor Show, and the initiative is now promoting networking, communication, and dialog in more than 70 countries. “She’s Mercedes” organizes exclusive events and experiences where women can expand their networks and inspire one another. Such activities also enable Mercedes-Benz to bring the brand world closer to the “She’s Mercedes” community and learn more about women’s wishes and requirements relating to mobility.

The “She’s Mercedes” initiative has also established itself inside the company, where the “She’s Mercedes” community now extends from sales to communication and aftersales services. The initiative supports efforts to increase the number of female sales personnel and develop new mobility and other services. It is also involved in annual training events around the world in which participants in workshops that run for several days expand their knowledge of current brand, product, and sales topics. Interactive training formats and personal training sessions have been used in qualification measures in the sales organization in order to focus more strongly on the topic of women and vehicles. The goal here is to make Mercedes-Benz the most attractive luxury automobile brand for both men and women and to substantially increase the share of female buyers.

Our principles and policies

All of the members of the Daimler Board of Management support our Diversity Statement “Diversity Shapes Our Future” and 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.

The principles of diversity and equality of opportunity have 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 supports transgender/transsexual employees and managers and is designed for use by human resources units. This guideline clarifies company policies and the legal framework, describes administrative rules relating to name and gender changes, and lists the points of contact at the company where additional information on these issues can be obtained. It thus also underscores Daimler’s commitment to an open culture marked by respect and tolerance.

We anchor our principles publicly through our membership of corresponding initiatives and associations by signing standards and principles such as those defined by:

How we promote diversity and inclusion

We promote a culture that is characterized by respect, equality of opportunity, and appreciation. We shape diversity and inclusion with specific programs and measures for our employees.

We are committed to equal opportunity for women

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

Our measures for promoting the advancement of women extend along the entire “employee journey” and involve everything from recruiting to onboarding and individual professional development. Among other things, we offer special leadership workshops and mentoring programs that aim to prepare women for work in management positions and help us achieve the targets we have set for ourselves for the proportion of women in management positions. 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).

32 | Development of the share of women in executive management positions

Development of the share of women in executive management positions (Graphic)

We rely on cultural diversity

Around 288,500 men and women from over 160 countries work at Daimler. Our employees’ diverse cultural backgrounds help us to better understand the wishes of the customers in each region and tailor our products accordingly. At the same time, we conduct training programs to improve intercultural skills and increase awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion, and we also make use of targeted recruiting measures. For example, international candidates account for approximately one third of the people we recruit through our INspire talent training programs.

We deliberately encourage our employees to take on assignments abroad. Around 1,750 Daimler employees from nearly 50 countries are currently working as global assignees around the world. Most assignees from Germany are working in China, the United States, and Mexico, for example. Other important assignee destinations include Japan, South Africa, and Hungary. Employees from abroad also come to work in Germany: We currently have approximately 110 assignees in Germany, with most of them coming from India, the United States, Brazil, and China. Employees from outside Germany work in other countries as well, with around 230 people from the United States, Brazil, South Africa, and Japan now working outside their countries — mostly in China and the United States.

We integrate employees with disabilities

Employees with disabilities are an important and fully integrated part of our diverse workforce. Training for young people with disabilities is particularly important to us. As early as 2006, we worked with the severely disabled persons’ representative to put together a plan of action for taking on severely disabled trainees. The plan of action requires us to hire 23 severely disabled trainees each year. Since 2015, 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.

During the reporting year, Daimler joined “The Valuable 500” global initiative that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities at companies and businesses. By joining the initiative, we have committed ourselves to taking specific measures that promote an inclusive and empowering working environment (for example, accessibility throughout the company) and contribute to social inclusion (for example, cooperation with organizations that support people with disabilities).

We appreciate and support talented individuals from all generations

The average age of our global workforce in 2020 was 42.1 (2019: 43) years. The demographic transformation is also leading to a situation where people continue to work longer than before. This means that the average age of our employees will likely increase further in the years ahead. We see this transformation as an opportunity and are adjusting the framework conditions accordingly. In particular, we focus on measures for supporting the capabilities and health of younger and older employees, and we also want to increase cooperation between people of different ages. Generation management activities at Mercedes-Benz AG focus on the following activities:

  • We evaluate our workplaces with regard to their ergonomics — our employees should be able to work there without risks to their health. We are integrating new technologies such as human-robot cooperation that will facilitate the performance of physically demanding activities — for example in production.
  • We conduct training courses in order to provide older employees with the skills they need to deal with the new requirements of a modern production environment characterized by increasing digitalization. We are also incorporating the same content into relevant apprenticeship programs, thereby we are ensuring that the trainees who complete these programs have the expertise they need.
  • We offer older employees IT training in order to enable them to contribute to the implementation of digitalization projects in production units. The goal here is to use professional training to enable employees to work in areas where additional staff are needed.

In Germany, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Mobility AG and its subsidiaries also make use of the expertise of experienced employees who have already retired. Our Senior Experts Program offers retired experts the opportunity to come back to work and contribute their expertise to various projects for a limited period.

Since 1998, Daimler has also been offering pre-retirement part-time work agreements to non-exempt employees who wish to take early retirement. Such agreements ease the transition from work to retirement. The pre-retirement work agreements offer different entry models and working-time arrangements. The remuneration paid for the pre-retirement part-time work agreements for older employees is topped up over the full duration of the agreement.

We show our colors for the rainbow community

Daimler Pride makes a statement for diversity and inclusion — for the LGBTI+ community and beyond. It shows that the entire Group — across all divisions and locations — stands for a culture characterized by appreciation, respect, and openness. This culture is supported by the work done by our GL@D (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender+ at Daimler) employee network and our Spectrum and EQUAL networks in the United States.

During the reporting year, we continued our activities here even in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. For example, Daimler showed its support for diversity and inclusion by publicly participating in both the virtual Global Pride 2020 event and in German Pride Live.

Employee networks

Networks enable employees with shared interests, experiences, and values to discuss various issues across all business units and hierarchical levels. These networks help to firmly establish a culture of diversity and respect at the company. They also often help employees develop quick and creative solutions for various tasks and problems and can serve as important partners for diversity-related projects and events.

Daimler has twelve official Employee Resource Groups that bring together around 5,500 employees. These are mostly intercultural, women’s, LGBTI+, and role/organization-specific networks that are generally active Group-wide. In order to promote interaction between the networks, the Global Diversity Office organizes regular meetings for the networks’ spokespersons.

We increase our employees’ awareness and knowledge

Daimler takes measures to increase awareness among employees worldwide about the topics of diversity and inclusion. All employees can use a common platform known as the Global Diversity Community that can be accessed via the Social Intranet. The Global Diversity Community provides information about the strategic orientation of diversity and inclusion at Daimler, as well as access to programs at the company and opportunities to establish networks and exchange ideas, experiences, and information.

Our Social Intranet online knowledge database presents studies, data, and facts and figures and also offers training programs. These programs, which can be used by individual employees or entire teams, cover various topics — for example, reflections on the nature of stereotypes. In addition, all Daimler employees worldwide can complete an online training course that helps them shed preconceptions and prejudices.

We also offer target group-specific qualification measures in order to support our managers with diversity management issues. Consequently, the “Diversity & Inclusion Management” topic area is an integral part of training courses for employees in human resources units. Among other things, these courses also teach participants how to address stereotypes and break down prejudices.

Daimler Diversity Day puts the spotlight on diversity

One day in the year is especially devoted to the topic of diversity: Daimler Diversity Day. Consciously experiencing diversity, taking in new perspectives, and understanding how all employees can profit from diversity management — these are central objectives of Daimler Diversity Day.

Daimler Diversity Day took place for the eighth time in 2020. Last year’s event was held under the motto “Link perspectives — bring the mix alive” and was accompanied by various activities at Daimler locations around the globe. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, most activities at many locations were conducted using digital communication formats such as online workshops and discussion rounds.

We are networked and committed

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

During the year under review, Daimler once again served as a partner for the “DIVERSITY für Vielfalt in der Arbeitswelt” conference on diversity in the workplace. The event has been organized by Charta der Vielfalt e.V. and the publishing company Der Tagesspiegel since 2012. The “Debating Diversity” format that is used during the conference makes it possible to discuss a selected diversity topic in a constructively critical manner. In view of the activities conducted by the international Black Lives Matter movement and the associated debates on racism that have taken place, the diversity topic chosen for 2020 was ethnic origin and its significance in the business world. The central question here was: Does ethnic origin still have an influence on career opportunities in Germany?

How we deal with violations of regulations and guidelines

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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. We fully investigate all reported incidences and we also speak with the individuals involved and document these conversations.

Additional points of contact are the “Infopoint Integrity” and the Whistleblower System BPO. The Whistleblower System BPO can be used by both employees and people from outside the company to report violations. This ensures that we receive information on violations of policy that pose a high risk to the company and its employees. These also include cases of sexual harassment, discrimination, and racism.

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 incidents of misconduct and making decisions about their consequences.

How we assess the effectiveness of our management approach

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We have developed an Inclusion Index that we use to measure equality of opportunity at the company. The associated analysis is performed every two years within the framework of the 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, gender, age, disablement or other characteristics that are not relevant to their job performance.” Our goal is to achieve a rate of agreement with this statement of more than 75 percent by 2030. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to carry out the employee survey in the reporting year.

As early as 2006 we agreed to increase the proportion of women in management positions and regularly review the progress we make toward our targets. The target for the end of 2020 was a 20 percent share of women in executive management positions at the Group level (excluding Daimler Greater China and Trucks Asia). We achieved this target at the end of 2020 with a share of 20.5 percent.

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 and the side representing the employees.

At the end of 2020, 25 percent of the members of the Board of Management were women. This means we exceeded the target of 12.5 percent for the proportion of women on the Board of Management that the Supervisory Board had defined and whose deadline for achievement was December 2020.

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

Further diversity indicators







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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