BMW recognized that diversity was important to them, with 140 markets worldwide they realized that women accounted for up to 50% of their market.
BMW understood that with such a diverse cultural market, their internal workforce needed to more closely represent their client base. How else will they know their market? Diversity also mattered to BMW because they faced an increasing shortage of specialist skills, they needed to develop new markets and they needed to optimize management skills. Their diversity program promoted gender balance in executive positions as well as increasing development programs for younger workers. BMW noted that getting the right gender mix of technical specialists was difficult due to the smaller number of girls entering technical programs. They responded by creating “Technology Camps for Girls” and the German national “Girls Day”. (Boston Consulting Group 2011, pg. 12).
“BMW made diversity management a top priority for its HR function and business units with a particular focus on attracting and developing female talent” (Boston Consulting Group 2011, pg.12).
You might wonder why this was so important to them, but BMW knew that for certain models in their (car) range, women account for up to 50% of their customers. Understanding the mix of their clients made gender diversity internally an easy economic decision for BMW.
Caye J_M, Teichman C, Strack R, Haen P, Bird S, Frick G (2011) “Hard Wiring Diversity into your Business”, European Association for People Management. Boston Consulting Group.