Has there ever been a conference of this kind held in Opel’s N50 auditorium in Rüsselsheim, Germany, with 120 women from a whole range of different countries, representatives from the Peugeot, Citroën, and DS brands, as well as Opel, Vauxhall, and Opel Finance, gathered in the one place? “No, this is a world premiere,” said Tanja Tiecke, a member of the WoMen@Opel core team and co-organizer of the event. Female employees from Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Slovakia, Austria, and Morocco represented almost every Groupe PSA division. A few male employees who advocate network activities and support them were also present.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Groupe PSA took part in the celebrations for International Women’s Day on 8 March. The WoMen Engaged for PSA (WEP), WoMen@Opel, WoMen in Finance, and Vauxhall Women’s Council networks, who are working in ever closer cooperation, ushered in the day with meetings and campaigns, including an online greeting cards campaign. 30 women met for a lunch meeting in the spacious N20 conference room in Rüsselsheim, Germany (photo). They welcomed five members of the Management Board as guests: Michael Lohscheller (CEO), Frédéric Brunet (Managing Director Finance & CFO), Christian Müller (Managing Director Engineering), Ralph Wangemann (Managing Director Human Resources), and Harald Hamprecht (Vice President Communications). The women took this opportunity to draw attention to unresolved issues.
This premiere was also honored by Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of Groupe PSA, who welcomed the participants with a video message. He offered them specific suggestions and guidelines within the context of this work meeting. The Opel Management Board also felt that it was important to pay tribute to the networks’ dedication. Ralph Wangemann, the new Head of Human Resources, spoke as its representative: “I truly believe that we can make a tangible contribution to our company culture and our company’s success if we incorporate diversity in our everyday thoughts and deeds.”
Projects that have already been initiated by the women’s networks were presented to promote and raise awareness about its concepts across the Group. The most successful of these has been the establishment of defined milestones in the vehicle development process in which female employees give their feedback on the respective state of development, and evaluate elements such as functions, properties, ergonomics, and design. The purpose of this is to allow the diversity of the Group’s customers to be reflected in its products. Carlos Tavares reiterated this point: “We mirror inside of our company the same diversity as the one of the societies in which we are operating.”
“It is the first time that we are all together, the women’s networks for Groupe PSA, coming from Peugeot/Citroën/DS and Opel/Vauxhall, all Departments and countries! Together we’re stronger to push women’s opinion on business and raise women’s talents.”
– Laure Jouffrai –
President of ‘WoMen Engaged for PSA’
“We mirror inside of our company the same diversity as the one of the societies in which we are operating.”
– Carlos Tavares –
Chairman of the Managing Boards of Groupe PSA
“I truly believe that we can make a tangible contribution to our company culture and our company’s success if we incorporate diversity in our everyday thoughts and deeds.”
– Ralph Wangemann –
Managing Director Human Resources and Labour Director Opel Automobile GmbH
For the Chairman of the Managing Board, incorporating a feminine perspective is “a question of business.” The milestones in the vehicle development process have already been put in motion for more than 20 of Groupe PSA’s vehicle programs – and 60 to 90 percent of recommendations are taken into consideration.
The dedicated network also considers optimizing the customer experience. This has resulted in a program that supports the Group’s French car dealers during contact with customers by submitting suggestions for improvement, so that the expectations of female customers can be better recognized and met, for example. This concept is currently being implemented in France, and there are plans to roll it out in Germany from July onwards. Philippe Dauger, Director of Aftersales Europe, sent a video message in which he backed up this idea: “We have to identify what are those expectations of costumers, especially women visiting a dealer for aftersales to make sure that everywhere in the world the expectations are taken into consideration.”
Of course, the networks also campaign on their own account with concepts for promoting female talent, making women’s careers more compatible with their family lives, mentoring, and much more. The participants agreed that this should happen across the Group, as it would allow other areas with potential to be identified.
An intensive workshop on different topics in the afternoon generated a great number of good ideas, and one of the event’s main goals – to put together a plan for joint activities for 2019 and beyond – could be successfully implemented. These ideas include Group-wide campaigns on International Women’s Day, a joint mentoring program, a shared communication platform, and initiatives for a ‘change of mindset.’
“We want to use new concepts and initiatives to give all employees a platform for directly applying their ideas to Management.”
– Tanja Tiecke –
Member of the „WoMen@Opel“ core team
“We are an incredibly large group of dedicated women –
not too bad considering that we work in a male-dominated sector!”
– Natalia Pagano –