The TRATON GROUP is home to colleagues from all over the world with an array of different talents, ways of thinking, preferences, experiences, and cultural backgrounds. With around 100,350 people at 28 production and assembly sites in 14 countries, our company benefits greatly from this diversity across our Scania, MAN, Navistar and Volkswagen Truck & Bus (VWTB) brands. The more diverse a team is, the more innovative and successful its ideas are.
“We don't just talk about diversity, we live it."Nicole Wiggins
“We don't just talk about diversity, we live it,” says Nicole Wiggins, Chief Diversity Officer at Navistar. "Differences are not tolerated here, they are celebrated!" At Navistar, she says, the sense of community is not created despite differences, but out of them. In short, diversity is not merely a term used by companies to polish their image. The pursuit of diversity must permeate thinking, communication, and action. That is why TRATON has a clear message: all of our employees should be able work in a positive, prejudice-free environment – regardless of their background, age, disability, sexual identity, or gender. With this approach, TRATON actively promotes the diversity of our workforce.
TRATON’s global diversity strategy
TRATON presented a global diversity strategy for the first time in 2018, with the aim of steadily increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions. Since then, we have launched several initiatives throughout the Group to achieve this goal. For example, at Scania, care is taken to ensure that existing talents are promoted and deployed as needed with the help of the Skill Capture program.
Julia Mörtberg is one such talent. As Industrial Engineering Manager, she is responsible for future battery production at TRATON. In her role, she must ensure that all processes in the new assembly hall in Södertälje run smoothly and that the workforce is optimally prepared. During her six years at Scania, she has led several industrial projects and developed products and production processes that are currently important for the entire TRATON GROUP.
“I have always been curious to explore the world and have taken the opportunity to get involved with problem solving,” says Julia Mörtberg. “This has enriched me with many interesting experiences and made me want to get involved with technology and the industry of the future. The excellent team I lead is pioneering Scania's first battery assembly and I learn so much every day.”
With equal opportunities in mind, TRATON and Scania are also committed to diversity and inclusion in other parts of the world. In Ghana, for example, Scania regularly trains women as bus or truck drivers together with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). This is a great challenge, particularly as Africa’s transport industry has traditionally been dominated by men.
Against the recent backdrop of supply chain bottlenecks, the public has become aware of the importance of professional drivers for a functioning and high-performance economy. For example, about 84 percent of all goods and products in Germany are transported overland by truck. At the same time, however, labor market experts assume that there will be a shortage of about 200,000 professional drivers by 2030 (there are currently about 95,000 drivers).
MAN’s WoMAN Workshop
To meet these challenges, the industry needs innovative solutions and fresh perspectives. A diverse workforce can help develop new ideas and find innovative solutions. MAN’s ‘WoMAN Workshop’ asks important questions in this regard - and seeks ideas on how to make the choice of career more attractive to women and what role the vehicle plays in this.
According to its findings, most female truck drivers have similar demands to their male counterparts. However, their expectations can differ with regards to the ergonomics of the seats and in terms of hygiene. Rest stops are a concern, as these can be anything but inviting at night. At the workshop, the MAN designers listen carefully, note down comments on haptics, materials, everyday life in the driver's cab and the lack of shelves, cup holders or sockets. All the information gathered is important, because – in a traditionally male-dominated industry – too little is known about the needs and requirements of women who drive trucks. But one thing is already clear: female truck drivers want more acceptance in the industry and in society.
LGBTIQ+ initiatives at TRATON
The TRATON GROUP’s corporate culture values and supports diversity. The question of one’s sexual identity is no more an issue than the skin color of a colleague at the company. Statistically, about 10 percent of the population is LGBTIQ+. This means that every tenth person in a company also belongs to this group. Historically across society people identifying with this group have often been met with prejudice, and in the worst cases, active discrimination.
TRATON and its brands support colleagues within the Group who identify as LGBTIQ+. Navistar, for example, supports Pride Week in June and Pride History Week in October, as well as Pride parades when they take place in the Chicago area. There are also quarterly ‘After Hours’ meetings and monthly Q&A sessions on LGBTIQ+ issues.
In 2019, MAN employees of different gender identities and sexual orientations built the proud@MAN network for colleagues who identify as LGBTIQ+ and allies. They contribute to a safe and open environment at MAN where diversity is perceived, respected, and valued in terms of gender identity and sexual orientation. They regularly engage in activities that are open to all employees, such as communication, awareness training and discussions.
VW Truck & Bus (VWTB) is also committed to diversity in the company – including a commitment to respect sexual diversity and gender identity. This includes regular monthly meetings, general discussion forums, the exchange of information through internal communications (newsletters) as well as training for managers and the support of Pride events to which activists from partner companies are invited. In addition, VWTB pursues the goal of attracting, promoting, and retaining female talent. Currently, the best-known example of exemplary career support is the promotion of Livia Simões to member of the VWTB Executive Board.
In addition to public statements, however, the most important thing is to sensitize employees to be open and, above all, appreciative towards every sexual orientation. TRATON is convinced that employees can only realize their full potential if they are not afraid of coming out and do not have to disguise their personality.
No matter if a colleague is male, female, gender-neutral, intersex, trans, lesbian, gay or bisexual, has a disability, is older or younger, or speaks with a foreign accent – different perspectives and experiences enrich the togetherness TRATON and our brands enjoy. Together, this makes the daily work routine lively and serves as the basis for great collective success.