Valuing Innovation and Creativity of Diverse Minds

We are a global organization and feel proud of our diversity in gender, age, sexual orientation, appearances, abilities, religions, and cultures with a workforce belonging to around 80 different nationalities. Get to know some of our global, regional and local D&I Stories!

Teamwork and Inclusion in Trebechovice

Robert Myslivec has been an integral part of our Trebechovice plant since 2019 where he works as an operator. Ten years ago, while working for his previous employer, he had a serious work accident that left him with a tremor – a form of Parkinson’s disease. We spoke with Robert to find out more about his experiences and team spirit and learnt that he never let that stop him!

Robert’s primary role is ensuring the plant remains clean, which he diligently performs in coordination with the HSE Manager throughout his six-hour days.

“I often find it difficult to stand in one place for long, and my hand mobility and fine motor skills limit the type of work I can do. Fortunately, I have found ways to contribute in a meaningful way, thanks to the support of my colleagues here,” explains Robert and he adds: “We have a great team here and I really enjoy interacting with them each day. I used to work as a waiter in a pub, so being able to talk with people is wonderful. I couldn’t isolate myself after the accident, I needed that daily contact with people – happily, my colleagues here are really fun, and that need is absolutely fulfilled.”

Vibracoustic Employee Networks

There is no more powerful force for Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) than initiatives led from within. A meaningful change has been the launch of Employee Resource Networks. These were created to bring together individuals with shared attributes to foster an inclusive company culture.

Our employee networks are ‘grassroots’ groups that help create a sense of belonging and a supportive community – a great way to increase the representation and visibility of our diverse and talented team. They achieve this through networking events, mentorship programs, workshops, speaker events, and advocacy initiatives.

Women@Vibracoustic is aimed at promoting gender diversity within the organization and to empower women.

Zehra Ucak, VP SCM Europe and network leader explains:

“It is something of a modern corporate trap to speak extensively on diversity and inclusion without actually implementing meaningful change. I am proud to say that Vibracoustic is different. The launch of Women@Vibracoustic is not only connecting and enabling women, but also building support and visibility from across the entire organization.”

Pride@Vibracoustic is dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all employees, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Omar Guzman, Plant Manager Queretaro, Mexico and network leader says:

“This initiative is a beacon of positivity, fostering an environment where everyone – irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation – feels valued and included. It is about creating a safe space and celebrating our diversity; harnessing the unique perspectives and experiences that each of us bring to the table.”

Luiz Gustavo Santos in the improved work environment.

A “simple” improvement with huge effect.

The Team: Sidnei Leoncio – Logistics Supervisor, Fernando Castagna – Toolmaker, Luiz Gustavo – Logistics Operator, Valdir Faggian – Toolmaker.

Inclusion in Taubaté: Adapting Work Environment to our Employee’s Needs

Inclusion is about creating a work environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported, regardless of their background, identity, or abilities. The story of Luiz Gustavo Santos from our site in Taubaté, Brazil, demonstrates this in a practical and meaningful way.

So, how did this particular project start?

Luiz: The whole team was involved: First, we created some prototypes of a device that would fix the dispenser in place, allowing me to detach it and secure the identification card with one hand. I no longer needed to ask for assistance, which gave me a lot of motivation to learn about other activities that might be possible through autonomy and adaptation.

How did your colleagues react to the change?

Luiz: It was very encouraging. Sidnei, my current leader, is very people-orientated and has always been a key enabler of my work. The whole team has been happy to see my role develop, and everyone was really interested to see the device and how it works, responding in a respectful and positive way.

Generally, how do you think people can make their workplace more inclusive?

Luiz: Open and honest communication is key. Sidnei did not know about my limitations with this task, but he was open to understanding and helping me. More broadly, I believe that determination, cooperation, and transparency are what helps a team achieve good results; this means including everyone.

Sidnei, what motivates you to think about – and act on – inclusion?

Sidnei: It is all about empathy and putting yourself in the place of another. Taking an equal, human view and thinking about how you can enable your team. It is also about trust – trust in the team and the team’s trust in me. Luiz trusted me, so he could help guide us through limitations and find a solution.

At the Paris Motor Show, young women exchanged with Vibracoustic representatives and discovered more about careers.

Weina Ren | Commodity Manager and Godmother at ‘Elles bougent’

“Female students often choose maths and sciences and are good performers, but in the end, many do not pick technical careers. I decided to join the initiative because it is an opportunity to encourage young women to take up technical professions.”

Adèle Gauriault | Lessons Learned Group Manager and Godmother at ‘Elles bougent’

“I’m a mother of two daughters and would like them to perceive the engineering jobs positively. Women need female role models, so why not become an engineer like me?”

Françoise Guillo  |  Specialist Sales Support and Godmother at ‘Elles bougent’

“We strive for a balanced gender ratio in the teams. This is important to inspire other women to join our team. We see every day that diverse teams create better solutions and word gets around.”

Empowering Women for Technical Jobs in France

Our plant and Tech Center in Nantes, France, is a member of “Elles bougent” (‘They Move’ in English), a French voluntary association created to mentor, inspire, and assist young women in pursuit of careers in engineering.

Vibracoustic joined “Elles bougent” as part of its Diversity & Inclusion strategy, furthering the idea that careers in the automotive sector are open to all. The partnership is encouraging the curiosity and involvement of young women from all backgrounds to become engineers, highlighting the rewarding and challenging career paths on offer. Vibracoustic ‘godmothers’ encourage young women to pursue technical vocations through various events across the year.

While automotive is a male-dominated field, our team in Nantes, together with their managers, are proud to have increased the percentage of women in production and engineering roles at the plant by more than 50% since 2019. This positive development is the result of ongoing efforts to foster a fulfilling and diverse work culture.

Yann Le Berre, Vice President Advanced Engineering at Vibracoustic Nantes adds: “In recent years, the proportion of women in technical and leading positions is increasing. During this development, we have experienced that diverse teams work better together and achieve better results. They arrive at solutions faster and are more innovative than homogeneous groups.”

D&I Children’s Drawing Activity

We believe that discussing the topic of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) should not be confined to the office. Our Children’s Drawing Activity provided employees the opportunity to reflect together with children in their families on how we can acknowledge, accept, and respect the differences in people around us.

Over 150 young artists from around the globe expressed what diversity and inclusion means to them with bright colors and bright ideas. Through inspiring drawings, the children explored different dimensions of diversity like culture, language, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and professions, among others. They highlighted the importance of living together in peace and harmony, spreading love, and supporting each other with our strengths. The Drawing Activity gave us the chance to understand D&I better and make it a natural part of our everyday lives, starting from an early age.

Business Unit team-building – establishing stronger connections across a diverse team

International Women’s Day activity in Wuxi – engage an open dialogue

China: Driving Excellence in Engineering

Our team in China continues to build an inclusive work environment and a more diverse team. Since 2020, the number of women in engineering roles has increased by 20 per cent in the Application Teams, Product Engineering and Tech Center – a significant achievement given the long-standing gender imbalance in technical jobs within the automotive industry.

Successful efforts to promote Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) have been made by the regional Human Resources department and managers, by creating special activities, and bringing about changes to internal processes in our Chinese plants in Chongqing, Yantai, and Wuxi.

It starts during the hiring process, with equal opportunities provided to both male and female candidates. During the interview phase, increased attention and weight are placed on the professional skills and qualifications of candidates applying for engineering roles, effectively avoiding making decisions based on their gender or age.

In addition, workshops and activities have been held to promote D&I and awareness across the entire Chinese team. This includes regular D&I training, ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions, International Women’s Day activities, ‘Family Day’ activities, and more. Continuation of these efforts will help Vibracoustic grow the number of women working in the site’s technical and senior roles.

Jin Han, Vice President, Business Unit Mounts APAC, comments: “We are thrilled to see more women joining technical functions and managerial positions within Vibracoustic’s Asia Pacific organization. We appreciate the different perspectives that women bring to our engineering teams. Diversity is a cornerstone of innovation and idea generation, so this shift has greatly contributed to the effectiveness and success of our teams.”

Mary Zou, Head of HR, APAC, remarks: “With the progress of D&I sessions and efforts from the entire team, we are creating a more inclusive business. On the ground, this is enhancing our decision-making and providing us with a more robust understanding of engineering challenges and how to overcome them. With the benefit of greater diversity, we will be able to improve the functioning of our business and achieve sustainable growth.”

Employees at Elbe-Werkstätten preassembling bearings for Vibracoustic

Creating Opportunities for all: Vibracoustic Hamburg Supports Elbe-Werkstätten as a Reliable Partner

Diversity and inclusion are not just hollow phrases for us, but day-to-day reality, as the following example shows: For more than 20 years, our site in Hamburg, Germany, has actively partnered with Elbe-Werkstätten. This sheltered workshop provides a wide range of educational and work opportunities for people with disabilities in close cooperation with local companies. As many as 3,100 people in Northern Germany currently use the services of Elbe-Werkstätten. Vibracoustic has taken on a pioneering role in this initiative. As one of the first companies to collaborate with Elbe-Werkstätten, we have inspired many other enterprises in the region to follow our example.

An all-round win-win situation
The partnership brings clear advantages for all those involved. Employees of Elbe-Werkstätten are integrated into the labor market through the work they do for our company, and we benefit from having a reliable team on our side. Some 35 employees of Elbe-Werkstätten are currently assigned making products such as clamping rings for us, assisting in the assembly of jounce bumpers and bearings, or making cardboard packaging.

Saulo and his family enjoy important time together, thanks to the extension of Vibracoustic’s progressive paternity leave policy

More Parental Leave for Brazilian Families

As part of our efforts to promote Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), we seek out and embrace local opportunities for positive change. A good example of this is our participation in a Brazilian government program called ‘Citizen Company’.

Citizen Company was started in 2010 to encourage employers to offer greater parental leave, enabling employees to spend more time with their children. Typically, the law in Brazil allows for four months of paid maternity leave and five days of paternity leave. As part of Citizen Company, participating companies offer up to six months of maternity leave and 20 days of paternity leave.

Seeing the value in this policy shift – and understanding the importance of time at home for new parents – we implemented Citizen Company policies as part of our own D&I local action plan in Brazil in our plant in Taubaté.

Saulo José Gomes, operator at Vibracoustic Taubaté, has already benefited from the implementation of this new policy, and said:

“At this very special moment, I was able to give my family the attention and time that they needed and deserved. This was due to the new parental leave policies, which I’m very grateful for.”