Diversity and equal opportunity

Strategy and concepts

Diversity as a success factor

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Our workforce is as diverse as our customers, and we are convinced that diversity makes us more successful as a company. That’s because diversity helps us to find new viewpoints and acts as a driving force behind creative ideas and innovations. We employ appropriate measures and activities to promote a working environment in which all of our employees can develop and make full use of their talents — regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation or any other characteristic that relates to diversity. The Mercedes-Benz Group stands for open-minded cooperation in which there is no place for discrimination. This is embedded, for example, in our Integrity Code and the Principles of Social Responsibility and Human Rights. For us, inclusion means dealing with the diversity of our employees consciously, inclusively and appreciatively. Our diversity & inclusion management approach is grounded in the principle of equal opportunity for all employees.

Diversity compass of the Mercedes-Benz Group

Diversity Compass Mercedes-Benz Group (Graphic)

Diversity and inclusion: Three areas of action

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Diversity and inclusion are parts of the sustainable business strategy of the Mercedes-Benz Group. The three areas of action “Best mix”, “Work culture” and “Customer access” form the foundation of a corporate culture shaped by diversity.

Best mix: We rely on mixed teams

The Mercedes-Benz Group 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 optimally overcome the challenges we face in our daily business activities. Our goal is to attract the most highly qualified specialists and managers to our company and support their professional development, regardless of their age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and identity or any physical limitations they may have.

As early as 2006, the Mercedes-Benz Group set itself the goal of continually increasing the share of women in senior management positions. In 2006, we signed a company-wide agreement regarding the advancement of women that applies to Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Mercedes-Benz AG and the Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG. This agreement includes a commitment to continue increasing the share of women in the total workforce, in vocational training and in Level 4 and 5 .

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

Diversity concepts in the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board are presented in detail in the Annual Report of the Mercedes-Benz Group.

Work culture: Creating an inclusive working environment

The Mercedes-Benz Group aims to create a working environment that motivates our employees and is characterised by equality of opportunity and a spirit of respect. We promote diversity and inclusion by conducting awareness-raising and qualification programmes for the workforce. We also offer other programmes and measures, including employee assignments abroad and mentorship programmes for women.

We also help employees reconcile the needs of their professional and private lives. We have introduced diverse measures and programmes that enable our employees to organise 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: offering individual solutions

The Mercedes-Benz Group values the individuality of its customers. We understand that our customers have different ideas about how they want to live their lives and therefore have different requirements. That’s why we develop products and services that can meet their various needs. Our goal is to provide people with the mobility that’s right for them and their lifestyle.

Among other things, Mercedes-Benz AG offers people with disabilities adaptive automotive equipment ex works as normal optional equipment (OE). These aids include operating levers for the accelerator and brake pedals, control assistants, power steering, swivel seats and seat adjustment systems. These devices are also available in the new all-electric model series such as the EQA and the EQB.

Mercedes-Benz AG is focussing on the wishes and requirements of women — for example, through the global initiative “She’s Mercedes”. This initiative was launched more than five years ago and is now active in more than 70 countries. “She’s Mercedes” aims to inspire and connect women and to enable them to share their experiences across different sectors and cultures. The initiative regularly organises events, meetings and a variety of activities. In addition, Mercedes-Benz AG aims to make the women’s community more aware of its own brand world and to become more familiar with their needs and wishes regarding mobility, future technologies and sustainability.

The “She’s Mercedes” initiative has also established itself inside the company, where “She’s Mercedes” 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 services and other services. It is also involved in annual training events around the world. The basic goal is to establish Mercedes-Benz as an attractive luxury automobile brand for women and men alike.

Active diversity management at the company

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The Mercedes-Benz Group expects its 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 that is marked by respect.

The Integrity and Diversity & Inclusion units design the framework and processes for such a culture. The Diversity & Inclusion Management unit is a corporate function that is part of the Group’s Human Resources organisation. It develops strategic areas of action in cooperation with the business units and initiates Group-wide projects, training programmes and awareness-raising measures. Diversity & Inclusion Management shares ideas and experiences with the various specialist units at regular discussions of the Diversity Working Group. The intranet-based Global Diversity Community also offers all interested employees the opportunity to obtain information about diversity and inclusion at the Mercedes-Benz Group, establish networks and engage in dialogue.

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

Principles and policies

All the members of the Mercedes-Benz Group Board of Management support our diversity statement “Diversity Shapes Our Future” and are actively committed to the realisation of its principles.

  • Celebrating our differences. We respect and appreciate 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 an environment characterised by appreciation and mutual respect. This is how we are shaping the future together.

The principles of diversity and equality of opportunity have been set out in binding form for Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Mercedes-Benz AG and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG in the company-wide agreements on “The Advancement of Women” and “Equal Opportunity”. Furthermore, our policies regarding diversity and equal opportunity are also organised in our Integrity Code and our Group-wide “Fair Treatment in the Workplace” agreement.

A specific guideline is addressed to transsexual employees as well as managers and human resources units. This guideline clarifies company policies and the legal framework, describes administrative rules relating to name and gender changes and lists the relevant points of contact at the company. Through these measures the Mercedes-Benz Group emphasises its commitment to an open-minded corporate culture.

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

Dealing with violations of policy

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Mercedes-Benz Group employees who have been victims of discrimination, bullying or sexual harassment, or who observe improper behaviour by colleagues, can report such violations of policy to their supervisors, the HR department, our counselling service, their plant medical services organisation or the Works Council. We fully investigate all reported incidents, and we also speak with the individuals involved and document these conversations.

Additional points of contact are the “Infopoint Integrity” and our Business Practices Office (BPO) whistleblower system. The BPO is responsible for dealing with violations of the law and of policy that pose a high risk for the company or its employees — both in a material sense such as through theft, fraud or corruption and in the personal sphere, for example through sexual harassment, discrimination or racism. Employees as well as people outside the company can report violations of policy to the BPO. The whistleblower system provides support for the subsequent investigation until the case is closed. In the process, the BPO maintains strict confidentiality. Moreover, in our whistleblower system we emphasise fairness — both in our dealings with whistleblowers and our treatment of employees who are the target of a complaint. We observe the basic principle of proportionality, and in each individual case we strive to determine what consequences are applicable, required and fitting.

This BPO process is guided by a globally valid corporate policy for dealing with violations of policy. This policy ensures a fair and transparent approach that in addition to protecting the interests of the Group also takes into consideration the principle of proportionality for those affected while also giving protection to the whistleblower. The policy defines the areas of responsibility of the various participants. It also defines the criteria for evaluating incidents of misconduct and making decisions about their consequences.


Promoting diversity and equal opportunity

The Mercedes-Benz Group promotes a culture that is characterised by appreciation, respect and equality of opportunity. We shape diversity and inclusion by means of specific programmes and measures for our employees.

Equal opportunity for women

At the Mercedes-Benz Group, the advancement of women begins with the young generation. We participate in job information days and the annual Girls’ Day — which was held digitally in the reporting year — as well as in the educational initiative Genius. By means of these measures we aim to support the goal of arousing girls’ interest in technical careers and promoting young engineers.

We have also defined target corridors for the share of women trainees in our company-wide agreement for the advancement of women. In order to encourage women to join our training programmes, we have worked out and defined various measures in cooperation with the Works Council. The Works Council members who are participating in this effort, as well as the training officers, regularly check to see whether the measures are effective and adapt them to local circumstances as necessary. Another workshop on these issues will be held by these participants in the summer of 2022.

We also participate in university fairs in order to interest women in starting a career at our company.

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 and qualification. Among other things, we offer special mentoring programmes that aim to prepare women for work in management positions and help us achieve the targets we have set for ourselves for the share of women in management positions. For example, at Mercedes-Benz AG we run the mentoring programme Bertha’s Daughters In this programme, selected participants engaged in mentoring talks, as a group and individually, with top managers. They also attended digital events where they gained insights into various business units and could listen to motivational presentations by external speakers. Our networks specifically created by and for women also make it easier for them to share ideas and experiences. These include the Frauennetzwerk (FNW), the Women’s Business Network (WBN), Frauen in Technik (FIT) and the CAReer Women’s International Network (CAR-WIN).

Promoting cultural diversity

172,425 people from more than 145 nations work at the Mercedes-Benz Group. Our employees’ diverse cultural backgrounds help us to better understand the different wishes of the customers in each region and tailor our products accordingly. At the same time, we conduct training programmes to improve intercultural skills and increase awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion. We also make use of targeted recruiting measures.

At the Mercedes-Benz Group, job applicants from abroad account for almost 30 per cent of the people we hire via our INspire talent programmes.

The Mercedes-Benz Group encourages its employees to take on international assignments. At our company, global thinking, personal development and an understanding of new cultures and worlds of work are put into practice every day. Around 1,300 employees from around 30 nations all over the world work for the Mercedes-Benz Group. By far the most important country in which from Germany work is China. It is followed by the United States and Mexico. South Africa, Poland and Hungary also among the important assignee destinations.

We also promote the assignment of employees from our global locations to Germany or to other countries so that they can build up networks and share and deepen their know-how. These employees also help to make the Mercedes-Benz Group more international. Many global assignees worked in Germany during the reporting year. Most of them came from India, China and the United States. In addition, employees from other countries (outside Germany) also carry out international assignments, primarily in China and the United States. They mostly come from South Africa, the United States and Spain.

Integrating employees with disabilities

Employees with disabilities are an important and fully integrated part of our diverse workforce at the Mercedes-Benz Group. Training for young people with disabilities is particularly important at the Group. As early as 2006, we worked with the severely disabled persons’ representative to put together a plan of action for hiring severely disabled trainees. The goal of this plan of action was to make it easier for people with disabilities to navigate the job application process. Over the past five years, more than 90 young people with a disability have begun a training programme at Mercedes-Benz Group AG or Mercedes-Benz AG.

In addition, in Germany the severely disabled persons’ representative and the inclusion officer of the company take action on behalf of severely disabled employees. In 2020, the Mercedes-Benz Group joined the global initiative “The Valuable 500”, which promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities at companies and businesses. By joining the initiative, the Group committed itself to promoting an enabling and inclusive work environment, for example by ensuring barrier-free access within the company. It also promised to support social inclusion through measures such as barrier-free products and services and cooperation with organisations that help people with disabilities.

Generation management

The average age of the global workforce of the Mercedes-Benz Group in 2021 was 42.5 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 is likely to increase in the years ahead. We regard this transformation as an opportunity, and we are adjusting the framework conditions for it 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.

For example, the generation management approach at Mercedes-Benz AG focusses on the following activities:

  • Against the background of digitalisation and automation, we conduct training courses in order to qualify employees of all ages to deal with the new requirements of a modern production environment. In parallel, we are incorporating comparable content covering future-oriented technologies into relevant apprenticeship and degree programmes. As a result, we are ensuring that the trainees who complete these programmes have the expertise they need.
  • We offer employees of all ages advanced training in future-oriented technologies in order to implement digitalisation projects in production units. The goal here is to give employees the opportunity through advanced training to work in areas where the company needs additional staff and to enable them to cope with new challenges.

In addition, at Mercedes-Benz AG and Mercedes-Benz Mobility AG as well as their subsidiaries in Germany, we are, for example, making use of the expertise of experienced employees who have already retired. Our Senior Experts programme offers retired experts the opportunity to contribute their expertise to various projects for a limited period.

Since 1998, the company has also offered pre-retirement part-time work agreements to salaried employees in Germany 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 of older employees is topped up over the full duration of the agreement.

Supporting the rainbow community

The Mercedes-Benz Group publicly supports diversity and inclusion by means of specific Pride activities — for the LGBTI+ community and beyond. We are demonstrating across all divisions and locations that the Group stands for a culture that is characterised by appreciation, respect and openness. This culture is supported by the work done by our GL@D (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender+ at Daimler) employee networks and our Spectrum and EQUAL networks in the United States.

In the reporting year, we continued our activities here even during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic — for instance, through our in-house Pride Month. For example, international representatives of our locations and Employee Resource Groups offered various online formats for all employees from 1 to 30 June as part of the Pride Month.

Employee Resource Group Involvement

Employee Resource Groups enable Mercedes-Benz Group employees with shared interests, experiences and values to discuss various issues across all business units and levels of the hierarchy. These networks help to firmly establish a culture of diversity and respect at the company. At the same time, through their questions these Employee Resource Groups support us as dialogue partners as we continue to develop our programmes related to diversity and inclusion. They are also our partners in diversity projects and diversity events.

The Group has 12 official Employee Resource Groups. These are mostly cultural, gender-related, LGBTI+ and role-specific networks that are generally active Group-wide. In order to promote interaction between the Employee Resource Groups, the Diversity & Inclusion Management team organises regular meetings for the networks’ spokespersons.

Awareness-raising and qualification measures for employees

The Mercedes-Benz Group offers awareness-raising measures covering the topics of diversity and inclusion for its employees all over the world. A common platform known as the Global Diversity Community can be accessed by everyone via the employee portal. It provides information about the strategic orientation regarding diversity and inclusion at the Group, as well as access to programmes at the company. It also offers interested employees the opportunity to establish networks and share ideas, experiences and information.

For example, a new e-learning tool that aims to increase awareness of the need for appreciative interaction as well as possible obstacles, and to show how each employee can contribute to this development, has been in use since May 2021. Through the use of case studies, the participants learn about effective methods for eliminating their own prejudices and various approaches to conflict resolution. This training programme is available to all employees worldwide and is offered in 11 languages.

We also use in-house communication channels to raise our employees’ awareness of these issues. For example, on 21 March 2021, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we drew attention to everyday racism in a message in the intranet titled “Allies against Racism”. We also called on our employees to stand up for others — at the workplace and in their daily lives.

We also offer target group-specific qualification measures to support our newly appointed managers as they deal with diversity and inclusion issues. Training sessions on diversity and inclusion are a fixed component of these training programmes. Among other things, these courses teach participants how to address stereotypes and break down prejudices.

Diversity Day

One day in the year is especially devoted to the topic of diversity at the Group — the in-house Diversity Day. Consciously experiencing diversity, taking in new perspectives and understanding how all employees can profit from diversity and inclusion management — these are central objectives we want this measure to achieve.

During the reporting year the Diversity Day was held for the ninth time. Discussions under the slogan “Diversity needs inclusion. Facing the challenge” were conducted at online events, with participation of some members of the Board of Management. Employees could submit questions in the run-up to the events. In addition, all managers received a set of guidelines to help them initiate dialogues within their teams after these events were over.

Cooperation with external partners

The Mercedes-Benz Group is a co-initiator and founding member of the employer initiative “Charta der Vielfalt” (German Diversity Charter), which promotes the substantive discussion of diversity and inclusion management in Germany by means of various projects such as Diversity Day. Over 3,300 companies and institutions have already signed the German Diversity Charta.

During the reporting year, we once again served as a partner for the “DIVERSITY für Vielfalt in der Arbeitswelt” conference on diversity in the workplace. The event has been organised by Charta der Vielfalt e.V. and the publishing company Der Tagesspiegel since 2012. The conference, which was held under the slogan “Allyship — united for diversity”, focussed on joint action and solidarity for and with minority groups in the working world. Within the “Debating Diversity” format that is used during the conference, a discussion was held with a company representative from top management and other participants in order to determine whether joint action can help employees accommodate diversity even more actively in the workplace. We helped to develop the “Debating Diversity” format.

In addition, we were once again an active partner at the international level at the “Global Summit of Women”.

Effectiveness and results

The effectiveness of our management approach

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The Mercedes-Benz Group considers it important to make its approach to diversity measurable by means of quantitative key indicators so that it can identify areas where action must be taken as needed. We orient ourselves according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10).

To measure the increase in the proportion of women in our top management, we use the corresponding data from our personnel reporting systems. The standardised results are regularly reported to the Board of Management. We measure equality of opportunity and fairness in the company by means of the Inclusion Index. This analysis is performed every two years within the framework of the employee survey.


For the Inclusion Index, we ask our employees in the survey whether they agree with the following statement: “Everyone at this company is treated fairly regardless of ethnic background, race, gender, age, disability, or other differences not related to job performance”. The Index indicates the proportion of positive answers. The employee survey conducted during the reporting year showed a positive interim result for the Inclusion Index at the Mercedes-Benz Group. We have already attained our interim goal of raising the index to 70 per cent by 2025. We want to achieve a value above 75 per cent by 2030.

As early as 2006, the Group set itself the target of continuously and sustainably increasing the share of women in senior management positions in the Group to 20 per cent by the end of 2020. This goal was achieved, and our plan for 2021 and beyond is to further increase the proportion of women in senior management positions at the Group by one percentage point each year. We achieved this goal during the reporting year. As of 31 December 2021, the share of women in senior management positions (Level 3 and higher) at the Mercedes-Benz Group worldwide (headcounts, fully consolidated companies) is 22.5 per cent.1 Due to the spin-off of the Daimler Truck Group as an independent company in December 2021, the data are not comparable to previous years.

Development of the share of women in senior management positions

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

At the end of 2021 the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG consisted of three women and five men. As a result, the share of women is 37.5 per cent. A detailed report on the composition of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board can be found in the Annual Report.

1 Headcounts, fully consolidated companies. The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.

Female workforce1
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Latin America































Workforce from 2021 not including temporary workers during vacations, integrated master’s degree students, interns, working students, doctoral candidates, senior experts and trainees


These data are only for the Mercedes-Benz Group. The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022.

Female workforce by group
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Direct functions (production employees)


Indirect functions (employees in administration and in production-relevant units)




Interns/integrated master’s degree students/doctoral candidates/working students/senior experts


Temporary workers during vacations


Women employees: other key figures (in %)
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Percentage of women






Percentage of women in Level 1 to 3 management positions






Percentage of women on the Board of Management






Percentage of women on the Supervisory Board







These data are only for the Mercedes-Benz Group. The spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company in December 2021 makes it impossible to compare these data with the data from the previous years.


These data have been adjusted due to the spin-off and hive-down of the Daimler commercial vehicle business as an independent company, nonetheless, they still contain minor uncertainties as adjustments for combined locations and units can first be made in financial year 2022.


Mercedes-Benz AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 7 11 17-0

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Jörg Burzer, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Sabine Kohleisen, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Court of Registry: Stuttgart; commercial register no. 762873
VAT ID: DE 32 12 81 763

Management levels

The managers of the organisational hierarchy of the Mercedes-Benz Group are divided into the management levels 1 through 5. Level 5 is the lowest of these levels, while Level 1 is the highest. Above it is only the Board of Management level.

All glossary terms


Employees that are on international assignments. This includes employees who come from abroad and are on international assignments in Germany, employees who come from Germany and are on international assignments abroad, and employees who come from a country outside of Germany and are on international assignments in another country outside of Germany.

All glossary terms