Volkswagen Group UK

Volkswagen Group UK

Winners of the IMI's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award 2023

In 2015 we initiated our diversity and inclusion (D&I) journey with a focus on increasing the number of females in the sector and developing internal talent.

Over the last seven years, we have widened our reach beyond gender and supported the growth of under-represented groups through several programmes, including

  • Launch of Driven Women network in 2016, followed by three further employee networks in 2019: Cultural Diversity, We Drive Proud (LGBTQ+), Parents+Carers; and Disability+Neurodiversity in 2021
  • Board D&I sponsorship with clear governance, accountability and regular reporting
  • Gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting with action plan, ahead of legal mandate
  • Leadership support programmes, widening the D&I conversation, e.g. Reverse Classroom run by employee networks
  • 12-month Board Sponsorship programme for women
  • Reverse Mentoring for Board and senior leaders
  • INSPIRE employee network focused on encouraging young people to automotive
  • Sponsoring and contributing to external programmes, e.g. Automotive 30% Club
  • Disability Confident Committed
  • Business Disability Forum membership
  • Inclusive Employers Silver EDI accreditation – first automotive company
  • Mandatory D&I e-learning plus focused D&I leadership sessions to support brand action plans
  • Targeted approaches e.g. Black interns programme

The impact of our focused approach means

  • Female representation: 4% increase to 46% since 2017
  • Ethnicity representation: 4.5% increase to 9.5% since 2020
  • Senior Female representation: 7% increase to 29% since 2017
  • Senior Ethnicity representation: grown to 9% in 2022
  • Increased engagement with 500+ colleagues taking part in National Inclusion Week 2022

Creating an inclusive culture

We refreshed our approach to our D&I strategy in 2022, focusing on building D&I into our overall operational delivery.  We employed a full-time D&I manager who reflected on our inclusive-cultural approach and delivered many projects.  

Policy updates

  • To represent our truly inclusive culture we reviewed and updated 16 core people policies
  • Created policies that address equal career opportunities: Workplace Adjustments Policy; Carers Policy; LGBTQ+ Policy; Menopause Policy; and Parental Leave Policy.  
  • Enhanced employee offering going beyond legal legislation

Black internship programme

  • To support, mentor, coach and encourage young black talent to consider careers in automotive
  • Paid internship programme for black and financially less-privileged students

WomensEuros #NotWomensFootball campaign 2022

  • Campaign to champion equality in sport and society
  • Best brand campaign award from Football Content Awards 2022
  • International panel discussion hosted in UK HQ during Women’s Euro tournament – guests included Nadine Kessler and Bastian Schweinsteiger
  • TinyBuzz generates 545k TikTok followers and 5.5m likes

Reverse classroom programme

  • Workshops to drive cultural change with senior leadership teams
  • Board kick-off session followed by core leadership teams – 70% coverage in 2022
  • Delivered by D&I network groups

Engagement programme to widen D&I reach

  • 500+ colleagues engaged over National Inclusion Week
  • Coffee connection launch in 2022 – 52 pairings
  • Diverse speakers to highlight ethnicity topics: Serhat Ekinci, Barbara Blake Hannah, Michael Gunning, local black community leaders  
  • Diversity podcast launch in 2022
  • Live panel sessions covering disability, gender & LGBTQ+

Creating opportunities for those inside or outside of the organisation

Volkswagen Group UK drives activities inside and outside the organisation to champion engagement with under-represented groups. Our D&I Employee Networks create a comprehensive activity plan for the coming year, supported by budget and governance.  Key projects include:

Milton Keynes Pride Festival

  • 2021 and 2022 sponsors of the Milton Keynes Pride Festival
  • Key local family event to celebrate diversity, creating a safe space and highlighting the importance of LGBTQ+ friendly events in the area
  • Pre-launch event with drag artists at HQ and post-event follow-up with a live webinar on LGBTQ+ allyship.
  • Founding member of the wider automotive network ‘Driving Pride’

Black History Month

  • Sponsored Milton Keynes’ first Black History Month Arts, Culture and Business Exhibition in 2022
  • A two-day event where the Cultural Diversity network built links with local black community groups
  • Passionate exhibitors invited to HQ to explore collaboration opportunities
  • An ongoing programme to promote career opportunities

Inspiring future generations into automotive

  • A dedicated team of 50 employee volunteers
  • 11,000 students reached in 2021/22. Adapting and learning from last year, and on track for 20,000 in 2022/23
  • The programme covers primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, and Universities
  • Projects range from one-hour inclusive sessions to two-week activities to mock assessment centres
  • Volunteering Award from Worktree received for outstanding 2021/22 contribution

Tiny Buzz brings magic to the community

  • Remote control star of Women’s Euros appears at local events
  • Rainbow livery and cars’ gender emphasises the D&I message
  • Inspiring young, local under-represented groups